We are fortunate to have an expert advisory group comprised of highly knowledgeable individuals from diverse institutions across the UK and are comprised of experts from various sectors, including academia, government and non-profit organisations and education. This advisory group plays a pivotal role in our research project, providing valuable insights and feedback that shape the direction and outcomes of our work.
The advisory group meets bi-annually, creating a dedicated space for meaningful discussions, knowledge exchange, and critical evaluation of our project. Their feedback helps us refine our research approach, identify potential challenges, and explore innovative solutions. By engaging with this diverse group of stakeholders, we are able to foster collaboration, enhance the relevance of our research, and maximise its impact.
Dr Natalie Canning
The Open University, Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood and Co-Director of the Children’s Research Centre
Natalie's main research interests are centred on young children’s play and how play can empower children. Her interest in children’s play preferences are distinctive because it focuses on how children initiated interests can empower children.
Dr Lorna Arnott
University of Strathclyde, Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education and founder and co-convener for the European Early Childhood Educational Research Association (EECERA)
Lorna's main research interests explore young children’s play experiences, typically in relation to technology, creativity and social play.
Professor Carol Robinson
University of Strathclyde (formally at Edgehill University), Professor of Children’s Rights
Carol’s research interests focus on the voices experiences, rights and empowerment of children and young people. A major focus of Carol’s work has been around developing insights into issues relating to children’s Human Rights Education (HRE).
Dr Dawn Mannay
Cardiff University, Director of Postgraduate Research in the School of Social Sciences
Dawn’s research interests revolve around education, identity and inequality. She also manages the online community of practices ExChange: Care and Education and ExChange: Family and Community.
Dr Bronagh Byrne
Queens University Belfast, Senior Lecturer in School of Social Sciences and Programme Director of MSc in Children’s Rights
Bronagh is the Co-Director of the Centre for Children’s Rights and co-founder of the Disability Research Network. Bronagh's research expertise lies in international disability rights and children’s rights to national policy and practice with a focus on the UNCRC.
Cardiff Met Senior Lecturer in Youth and Community
Cez has a long career history in youth and community work across the UK. He spent twenty four years in London working in a number of inner London boroughts in senior practioner, management and senior management roes in a diverse range of youth and community work services.
Managing Director of the Central South Consortium
Clara is an experienced School Improvement Partner who has worked with primary, secondary and special schools supporting schools to implement a range of curriculum and leadership changes. She has also worked at both local and regional level to develop provision for EM and SEN learners.
Dr Sarah McGeown
Edinburgh University, Senior Lecture
Sarah is interested in reading development, sex differences and gender identity, mental toughness in education and motivation and behaviour– all from an educational standpoint in children.
Professor Kate Wall
University of Strathclyde, Professor of Education
Kate’s research interests revolve around how participatory methods support authentic conversations about metacognition between teachers and students and the learning process. She is particularly interested in methodologies for gathering pupils’ views on curriculum and learning.
Children in Wales, Policy officer for Children’s Rights
Anna is responsible for development work in in the field of family support, early years, childcare and children’s rights. Anna also is involved in running the Children’s Rights in the Early Years (CREY) Network.
Welsh Government, Head of Foundation Learning team at Welsh Government
Linked to Averil’s role are interests around early education, pupil voice, inclusion, and the impact of social and economic disadvantages.
School Improvement Partner, Early Years
Gaynor is interested in children’s play, and how observing play can lead to more engaging experiences within environments that value and respect children’s choices. . Most recently she has provided professional advice to the WG Foundation Learning team and the materials they have produced to support the implementation of the Curriculum for Wales for the youngest learners.
Managing Director GwE
Arwyn Thomas began his teaching career in the Llandudno area. During his career, he has been a school head teacher, a school improvement officer and HMI. He was also Head of Education in Gwynedd, Abertawe and Ceredigion. In his capacity as Managing Director of GwE since being appointed in 2017, Arwyn works closely with Welsh Government and OECD.