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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Group

Mission Statement
The Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network is an ever-evolving network which campaigns for a high-status early childhood graduate profession. We have a commitment to valuing and respecting the diversity of everyone including undergraduates, graduates, academics, and our external partners within the network and making sure that this is put at the heart of our mission and aim of the network.

Full Statement
The Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network is an ever-evolving network which campaigns for a high-status early childhood graduate profession. We have a commitment to valuing and respecting the diversity of everyone including undergraduates, graduates, academics, and our external partners within the network and making sure that this is put at the heart of our mission and aim of the network.

We are aware that inequality exists in society, with far reaching effects on education, health, and life chances. Let us explore how the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network is going to work with our Higher Education Partners to support an agenda within Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion:

  • We will respect the individual characteristics of identity with all people within our network, not just those within minoritized groups.
  • We will uphold everyone’s identity, values and unique funds of knowledge that are built up over time by respecting the practices of everyone’s community.
  • We will challenge and reflect on bias. Continuing to challenge any bias and misconceptions, practices and experiences that requires active listening to current realities.
  • We will continue to be a voice for Social Justice in relation to Early Childhood, Widening Participation and giving a platform for oppressed voices within our network.
  • We will uphold the 9 protected characteristics of the Equality Act of 2010: These are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.
  • We will create safe spaces where research, our speakers, student voices can be critiqued and questioned and advocated in areas such as Social Justice, Anti-racism, LGBTQ representation, Queer theory, and Feminism.
  • We will endeavour to make every effort that our committees, speakers, publications, and curriculums will have representation from a diverse range of voices including the most oppressed within our society.

Vice Chair and Members

ECSDN Strategy Group - EDI Sharon C

Dr Sharon Colilles
Vice Chair

Sharon is Senior Lecturer in early childhood education at UWE – Bristol, a Trustee on Froebel Trust Council, and an associate trainer for the Centre for Research in Early Childhood Education (CREC) and British Association for Early Childhood Education (BAECE). Sharon recently worked as project assistant for the development of Birth to Five Matters guidance as well as participating in the review of QAA Benchmark Standards. She is an active member of Early Childhood Education Research Association and CREC learning circle. Sharon’s research is concerned with play based participatory pedagogies and its part in developing children’s mixed ethnic identity learning and development, she also has a deep interest in work that develops anti-oppressive practice.

Web Home - Uni of the West of England
ECSDN Strategy Group - EDI Caroline P

Caroline Prior

Associate Professor Early Years Education and Senior Lecturer at University College Birmingham (UCB). Caroline is the Programme Lead for both the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Graduate Practitioner) and BA (Hons) Childhood and Education Studies (online) provision at UCB. A strong advocate for early childhood with a real passion and drive for securing better outcomes for both children and families. Member of the ECSDN Strategy Group. Co-opted Governor Washwood Heath Nursery School.

Web Home - Uni College Birmingham
ECSDN Strategy Group - EDI Julie B

Dr Julie Brierly

Julie joined the University of Hull as a full-time staff member in July 2011. She teaches on a range of early childhood courses and is the Programme Director for the Primary PGCE with QTS. She originally trained as an early years teacher and gained 12 years' school experience including working as part of a senior management team. After the birth of her own children Julie moved with her family to Scarborough and took over the ownership and management of a 48-place private day care setting. Alongside the day nursery, she also worked part-time as an Early Years Education Consultant with North Yorkshire Education Services and as an Associate Tutor for the University of Hull. Julie's interest in young children's active movement and schema continued to grow as she studied for her MA and EdD at the University of Sheffield.

Web Home - Uni of Hull
ECSDN Strategy Group - EDI Babs A

Dr Babs Anderson

Babs is Principal Lecturer at Liverpool Hope University; her academic qualifications include a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Biology and German Literature, PGCE, MA in Education Studies, PGC in LTHE and an Educational Doctorate. She has been awarded four Best Practice Research Scholarships whilst teaching in a 3-11 Primary School. Her research interests include Young children’s learning, Student learning in HE, Well-being, Forest nursery and ECEC leadership. Julie teaches on the Early Childhood studies team, leading the new provision of Single honours Early Childhood; she also led one Masters' module in Early Childhood, the development and learning of young children in a socio-cultural context, and two Ed D modules, yourself as researcher 1 and 2. She now has Director of studies status for supervising Post-graduate Research students and is also chair of the Faculty of Education Research Ethics subcommittee.

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ECSDN Strategy Group - EDI Ruth H

Dr Ruth Hudson

Dr Ruth Hudson is a Course Director of Early Childhood Studies and Education at Staffordshire University, UK. She teaches on Early Childhood Studies programmes with experience of teaching nationally and internationally. Ruth’s research interests are well-being, childhood bereavement and attachment focusing on the Early Years phase in Education.

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ECSDN Strategy Group - EDI Lindey C

Lindey Cookson

Lindey is a Principal Lecturer and Team Leader for Childhood Studies in the Faculty of Education and Society, University of Sunderland. In this role she leads a diverse team of academics and together we provide a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the area of Childhood Studies. Before joining the University of Sunderland in 2017, Lindey worked at Northumbria University for 12 years leading and teaching on Early Years and Childhood programmes and also as a Departmental Lead for Teaching and Learning (staff enhancement). She has also enjoyed working for many years as an External Examiner for Childhood/Early Years courses elsewhere, with two current positions ongoing.

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