Expansion Officer, 1140 Workforce
Sandra Black is part of North Lanarkshire Council’s Early Years expansion team. Her main role is to manage the expansion of the early years workforce, placing emphasis on generating a diverse set of teams which are representative of the authority area.
Sandra has worked in the Education Sector for over 10 years. She joined NLC as a Business Partner for Education after a spell as a university lecturer in law.
Sandra took up her post as an Expansion officer in January 2018. She has been working with the current workforce and with key stakeholders including Routes to Work, DWP and NL Industries.
She is currently involved in overseeing a range of information sessions, some for all staff and others for specific audiences including men in childcare, and equality groups.
These sessions are designed to inform audiences of the career development opportunities available within NLC’s early years.
Team Facilitator, ENABLE Scotland
Andrew has been with ENABLE for two years and has delivered and managed a variety of employability projects in that time. Between Andy and his team, they have supported numerous young people with additional support needs into childcare careers. They have also worked with employers to offer advice and support as well as being available to help ensure they can sustain the job.
Early Learning & Childcare Manager
Heather Douglas is the Early Learning & Childcare Manager with Education Services in Glasgow City Council and has responsibility for all of the Council’s nurseries, early years partner organisations and out of school childcare.
Beginning work in the community arts sector, she has been involved for nearly 30 years in early learning, play and childcare holding a variety of posts with different local authorities and within the voluntary sector.
This has included wide experience of community development in relation to early years services and a number of years working within and leading the regulation of childcare services.
Prior to taking up post in Glasgow in 2008, she was the Early Years Service Manager for Stirling Council for 12 years where she developed a particular interest in integrated early years services and family support.
Heather holds a Masters degree from Glasgow University and postgraduate qualifications from Strathclyde University Business School and Jordanhill College of Education.
Head of Professional Learning and Quality Assurance, Early Years Scotland
Michele worked in Local Authority Early Learning and Childcare settings before moving to FE as a Lecturer within Childhood Practice at West Lothian College.
During her time in this role, Michele was course tutor for HNC Early Education and Childcare/HNC Childhood Practice and Access to Teaching Groups.
This then led to a seconded post as Depute Centre Head of Childhood Practice at West Lothian College. Michele joined Early Years Scotland in 2017 to head up the newly created Early Years Scotland Professional Learning Academy, which strives to offer and deliver high quality professional learning opportunities for the workforce.
Chief Executive Officer, Early Years Scotland
Jean was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Early Years Scotland in August 2013.
Jean started her career qualifying as a primary teacher with a specialism in early years. She went on to work as a primary teacher, nursery teacher, then moved into the Further Education sector as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, before becoming Head of School of Education at James Watt College of Further and Higher Education.
Jean has also worked in university and was Early Years Team Leader and Programme Director at Education Scotland.
Representing Early Years Scotland on a number of national strategic groups she is dedicated to working with partners to achieve equity, excellence, and the best outcomes for Scotland’s youngest children.
Joseph Francis Griffin
Director for Early Learning and Childcare Programme, Scottish Government
Joe Griffin has been leading the Scottish Government’s Early Learning and Childcare programme since April 2016, being appointed Director in June 2018.
In a 13 year career at the Scottish Government, he has worked on economic and social policy, and two stints in private office.
Before Scotland, Joe was a diplomat at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with postings to New York and Paris.
Early Learning and Childcare Lead Officer
Helen has worked in mainstream for over 12yrs working within a few local authorities. She has an extensive knowledge of housing, homelessness and benefits having worked in these areas for over 10yrs, which includes working with vulnerable people from a wide range of diverse backgrounds and cultures.
Helen has worked for CEMVO Scotland for 4yrs as a Financial Inclusion Officer, leading on the Financial Inclusion Pilot Programme focusing on free financial advice services being more accessible to ethnic minorities within Glasgow. This programme came to an end when she became the Health & Social Care Officer.
Most recently she was appointed Early Learning Childcare Lead Officer in the ELC recruitment programme in partnership with the Scottish Government's recruitment campaign to increase ethnic diversity into the workforce.
Lecturer in Education, The University of the West of Scotland
Co-founder and Chair, The Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE)
My research interests and area of expertise are within Social Justice and Equality with a particular focus on Race and Diversity.
My research and practice inform my thorough knowledge and understanding of curriculum development and I use this effectively to support students to consider their own practice as student teachers/early years practitioners in dealing with diversity, both culturally and linguistically.
A focus is also required on ways to encourage the recruitment of BME practitioners into the Early Years workforce which is, quintessentially, a monocultural, female workforce.
To this end, I seek to challenge the notion of ‘whiteness and privilege’ and create opportunities for educators to unpack their own stereotypical representations of diverse ethnic groups in order for them to offer the children and families they support, a sense of belonging.
Learning and Development Adviser, Scottish Social Services Council
Alison left college in 1981 with a qualification in nursery nursing (NNEB).
She has had a varied career working with children and young people and worked in India and Romanian in local orphanages.
These were life changing times and she learned about different cultures and ways of life.
Alison moved into the voluntary sector in 1996 as a manager, establishing a new childcare centre in Edinburgh, managing a large staff group and a nursery of 40 children.
She gained her PDA in Childcare and Education and went on to do a BA in Childhood Studies then a Masters in Childhood Studies in 2015
She is now a Learning and Development Adviser with the Scottish Social Services Council.
Skills Planning and Sector Development Manager Health and Social Care
Mili Shukla is Skills Planning and Sector Development Manager (Health and Social Care) at Skills Development Scotland, the national skills agency.
She is part of Industries and Enterprise Network team and her responsibilities include sector and skills planning for the health and social care sector. Mili has lead responsibility for the development and implementation of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Skills Investment Plan, a national skills strategy for the ELC sector.
Her other responsibilities include overseeing the development of skills evidence base for digital health, developing an approach to support integration of health and social care, and collaborating with partners and stakeholders to develop a shared skills narrative for the health and care sector, and contributing to strategy and policy development.
Postgraduate Researcher, The University of the West of Scotland
Shaddai is a postgraduate researcher at the University of the West of Scotland, exploring inequalities within the early years profession.
He writes independently on these issues from CriticalEarlyYears.org. Shaddai began his career as an Early Years Practitioner and has a diverse background in a range of nurseries.
Shaddai previously oversaw the Bristol Men in Early Years Network and was a Learning Ambassador for Bristol Learning Cities.
He also featured on the BME Power List 2018, showcasing Bristol’s 100 most influential BME people, is part of the Steering Group for the ESRC funded study ‘Gender Diversification in Early Years Education’ and is a Trustee for Early Education, a national charity supporting practitioners with training, resources and professional networks, and campaigning for quality education for the youngest children.