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Lee Owston HMI, National Specialist Adviser for Early Years, Ofsted
Lee Owston, Her Majesty’s Inspector, is Ofsted’s national specialist adviser for early years and phonics. He is a qualified teacher and holds post-graduate qualifications in educational leadership and management. Before joining Ofsted, Lee held senior leadership positions in schools, local authorities and national organisations. He has worked as an adviser for the Department of Education contributing to national publications on English, phonics and assessment and as a senior lecturer in initial teacher education. Lee is also a chartered educational assessor and has been extensively involved in the writing and development of National Curriculum Tests for the past 10 years. He regularly leads school inspections. Lee's particular areas of expertise are in English, assessment and the early years.
Anna Ephgrave, Independent Consultant and Author
Anna is an independent consultant and author, most recently she was an Assistant Headteacher for the EYFS at Carterhatch Infant School. Prior to this post she was an Advanced Skills Teacher, leading and developing a very successful Early Years Team within a Primary School for over 20 years.
Neil Farmer, Independent Early Years Adviser
Neil is an independent educational consultant supporting school and setting development across London, the Midlands and the South East. He is also an improvement advisor to a number of schools and Early Years Settings in the Middle East.
Gemma Dexter, Specialist Leader of Education, William Law CE Primary School
Gemma is an outstanding and inspirational ‘Specialist Leader of Education’ with 9 years’ experience in EYFS settings. Her in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the EYFS curriculum and her passion for all children to succeed is integral to all that she does. Gemma strives to share excellent and innovative practice especially in outdoor learning.
Alicia Blanco – Bayo, Kirkham Grammar School
My passion for Early Years began 20 years ago when after qualifying as an Early Childhood Educator in Spain I came over to the United Kingdom to complete my PGCE. I then became involved in teaching and training in the FE sector for a few years. Following this period I spent 9 years working in International schools where I continued developing professionally and personally. I was Head of Primary at an International School in Spain where I created and embedded an ESOL program in line with the school ethos. I developed a Reading, Communication and Language Department in a school in the Middle East and implemented the concept of adult-child interaction as a key element for purposeful teaching and learning in Early Years. I currently work at an Independent School in Lancashire where I am the Early Years Curriculum Coordinator and Foundation Stage teacher.
My main interests lay in communication and language development and thinking skills as key elements when promoting social and emotional skills. My research has enabled me to continue writing about some fascinating topics such as Parental Involvement in Children’s learning and the interpretation of learning through play in the XXI century. These are topics I have presented at Conferences and other Childhood Education events in the United Kingdom, Dubai and Nepal. I currently write a monthly piece for Education Today Magazine. I recently completed a study on the on the use of play as a teaching approach in a formalised school environment which I submitted as my dissertation for the MA in Early Childhood Education with the University of Sheffield. I am currently preparing to present a paper at the iafor European Conference on Education 2017 based on the investigation I carried out as part of my dissertation.
Leah Morris, Reception Teacher, Foundation Stage Lead, Richmond Avenue Primary and Nursery School
Leah began her career at Richmond twenty years ago as a parent volunteer and then teaching assistant, before qualifying as a teacher. She worked for the Southend on Sea Early Years Team as a seconded teacher, supporting pre-school settings across the Borough and continues to support reception classes through her role as an Early Years Moderator. After an educational visit to Denmark she qualified as a Forest School Leader and believes that children learn best when they take ownership of their learning. In 2015 her leadership led to an outstanding grade from Ofsted. Her child-centred, play-based approach is shared with the numerous practitioners that come from a variety of early years settings and schools to experience best practice in action.
Jacqui Pedder, SENDCo, Eastergate C of E Primary School
Jacqui is a SENCO at a primary school in West Sussex and has 25 years teaching experience in the primary sector. Jacqui is also a writer and speaker with a passion for early years and for promoting speech, language and communication skills.
Rosalyn Haydon, Head of EYFS and Inclusion, Pikes Lane Primary School (Bolton).
Rosalyn has a Masters in Education and has been teaching for 9 years. She has successfully led a large EYFS team to achieve an outstanding OFSTED judgement and is used as a role model for the local authority. She is passionate about overcoming the many barriers children and families face to ensure outstanding outcomes for all.
Katrina Deakin, Reception teacher, Pikes Lane Primary School (Bolton).
Katrina is an outstanding teacher. She completed a degree in psychology and worked in industry before deciding to pursue a career in teaching. She has been instrumental in the development of the EYFS unit at Pikes Lane, which has recently been graded as outstanding by OFSTED. She is also a staff governor and leads sustainability and PSHE, an area that she is extremely passionate about.