Early Years Board | Oxfordshire County Council

Early Years Board

The Early Years Board challenge us and help us deliver the best quality services possible.

Oxfordshire's Early Years Board is formed of leading international, national and local early years figures and organisations. The board is small and focused, and operates like a ‘think tank’.


In November 2015 the board launched the Leaders of Early Learning programme. Leaders of Early Learning are being supported across Oxfordshire, from schools, settings, and also childminders. The programme is being evaluated for impact by Kathy Sylva and her team at Oxford University, and by Sandra Mathers of A+ Education.

The vision for this programme is for leaders in schools and settings to work together, learning from each other, so that early education in Oxfordshire is of a high quality and continually improves.

Outstanding practitioners in schools and settings, including childminders, will be supported to work with other schools and settings to help to improve quality of practice.

Our team is already working in this way with lead teachers, Early Years professionals/teachers (EYP/EYTs) and a wide range of colleagues. The board is keen to extend the existing programme so that locally led communities of early years practice are on offer across the whole county.

Partners on the board

  • Tony Bertram - Professor, Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC)
  • Jan Dubiel - National Development Manager, Early Excellence
  • Anna Gillespie - Headteacher, Grandpont Nursery School
  • Chris Malone - Early Years Manager, Oxfordshire County Council
  • Sandra Mathers - Senior Researcher, Oxford University’s Department of Education
  • Beatrice Merrick - Chief Executive, Early Education
  • Chris Pascal - Professor, Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC)
  • Helen Ruff - Headteacher, The Ace Centre
  • Rebecca Saunders - Chair of Oxfordshire’s schools forum early years working group
  • Sarah Steel - Managing Director, The Old Station Nursery Ltd.
  • Kathy Sylva - Professor, Oxford University’s Department of Education
  • Nicola Taylor - Operational Manager for Health Visiting, Oxford Health
  • Melinda Tilley - Councillor, Oxfordshire County Council
  • Sarah Varnom - Schools and Learning Manager, Oxfordshire County Council
  • Neil Leitch – Chief Executive, pre-School Learning Alliance

Oxfordshire Early Years Board meetings

If you want to suggest an item for future meetings please contact us

Last reviewed
03 February 2017
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