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Speakers

Conference chair

Prof Nick Pearce

Chair, EIF

Nick is professor of public policy and director of the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath. In his career, he has been head of the No 10 Downing Street Policy Unit, director of the IPPR think-tank, and a special adviser in the Home Office and Department for Education and Employment.

Welcome from EIF

Dr Jo Casebourne

Chief executive, EIF

Jo has spent the last 20 years conducting research on public services, social innovation, disadvantaged groups in the labour market, welfare-to-work, employment and skills, work-life balance and childcare. Jo’s PhD examined the impact of welfare reform in the US and the UK on work and poverty for lone-parent families.

The power of early intervention

Jade Batten

Health visitor and FNP graduate

Jade was referred to the Family Nurse Partnership programme when she became pregnant with her first son at the age of 18. She says that the experiences she had as a FNP client have built the foundations for her own practice as a midwife and a health visitor.

Jezima Zahir

Empowering Parents Empowering Communities (EPEC) parent

Jezima has been a facilitator of parenting programmes for Empowering Parents Empowering Communities (EPEC) since 2014, and has also been involved in the training of facilitators. She is a mother to three sons, aged 16, 15 and 12.

Sharon Kemp

Chief executive, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Sharon has worked within the public sector for over 20 years across community safety, neighbourhood management, community cohesion, performance and partnerships. In Rotherham, she was appointed to lead improvements that have seen powers return and a ‘good’ Ofsted rating for their children and young people’s services.

Evidence, decision-making and effective early intervention

Prof Paul Ramchandani

LEGO professor of play in education, development and learning, University of Cambridge

In addition to his role at Cambridge University, Paul works as a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist in the NHS, and he is a trustee of EIF. Paul has a particular interest in the development of play and the prevention of emotional and behavioural problems in the early years of life.

Sally Burlington

Head of policy, Local Government Association

In her LGA role, Sally leads the LGA’s work on social policy issues, bringing a deep understanding of the national perspective and the evidence about policy and practice and what works to improve outcomes in local communities. She is an EIF trustee, and in her spare time she jointly runs a Sunday drop-in for the homeless in Croydon.

Shadow minister keynote

Tulip Siddiq MP

Shadow minister for children and early years

Tulip Siddiq MP is the member of parliament for Hampstead and Kilburn, since May 2015. Ms Siddiq was appointed as a shadow minister in education in April 2020, and was previously the shadow minister for the early years in 2016–17. She has previously sat on the House of Commons public administration committee and the women and equalities committee.

Breakout 1: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): What we do and don’t know, and what next

Kelly Beaver (chair)

Managing director of public affairs, Ipsos MORI

Kelly leads Ipsos MORI Public Affairs, a team of over 250 social research and evaluation professionals based in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Brussels. She is also a senior research fellow at the Kings Policy Institute, a trustee of EIF, and a board member of the Campaign for Social Sciences.

Dr Kirsten Asmussen

Head of what works, child development, EIF

Kirsten is a developmental psychologist with expertise in the parent/child relationship and author of the Evidence-Based Parenting Practitioner’s Handbook (Routledge, 2011). Kirsten previously worked at the National Academy for Parenting Research at King’s College London, where she managed the DfE-funded Commissioning Toolkit.

Dan Johnson

Scottish chair, Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Dan is a forensic psychologist and the clinical director at Kibble Education and Care Centre. He worked as a residential care worker prior to training in forensic psychology in the Scottish prison service, where he was awarded a Butler Trust certificate award for violence prevention.

Laurelle Brown

Principal consultant, Laurelle Brown Consultancy Services

Laurelle’s career has centred on tackling inequalities and embracing diversity in the interest of young people. In addition to her consultancy role, she is a programme manager in the London Violence Reduction Unit and has worked in local authority children’s services, children’s charities including The Children’s Society and Coram Voice, and further education.

Dr Vashti Berry

Director of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Research Collaboration (ChYMe), University of Exeter

Vashti is a senior research fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School, leading the child mental health research group as well as child health research for the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration in the South West Peninsula (PenARC). She is focused on intervention development and evaluation research.

Breakout 2: Disadvantage in the early years: The role of speech and language in closing the disadvantage gap

Prof Paul Ramchandani (chair)

LEGO professor of play in education, development and learning, University of Cambridge

In addition to his role at Cambridge University, Paul works as a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist in the NHS, and he is a trustee of EIF. Paul has a particular interest in the development of play and the prevention of emotional and behavioural problems in the early years of life.

Tom McBride

Director of evidence, EIF

Tom has 15 years of experience of public sector research and analysis roles. He joined EIF from the Department for Education, where he led the Strategic Analysis function providing analytical support across all areas of DfE policy. Much of his work focused on the performance of disadvantaged children, and the role of education in improving social mobility.

Prof Courtenay Norbury

Professor of developmental language and communication disorders, UCL

Courtenay is the director of the Literacy, Language and Communication (LiLaC) lab and a fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Her current research focuses on language disorders and how language interacts with other aspects of social and cognitive development.

Sheena Carr

Deputy head of children, young people & families, Public Health England

Sheena leads on early years health improvement at PHE. Previously, she was the public health specialist for Lambeth Early Action Partnership, one of the Better Start areas. Sheena has spent over 20 years’ working in the NHS and as a public health local authority commissioner of 0-19 services in a north London authority.

Debbie Chase

Director of public health, Southampton City Council

Debbie has worked at Southampton council for almost seven years. Her background is in academic public health, having attained a PhD in public health research, written several NICE appraisals, and worked for the national research and development programme.

Breakout 3: Grit, character and resilience: How social and emotional skills support children’s attainment, mental health and wellbeing, and behaviour

Jean Gross CBE (chair)

Independent consultant and writer

Jean is a best-selling writer on children’s issues, and she has been a teacher, an educational psychologist, head of children’s services in a local authority, and a visiting and associate fellow at three universities. She was formerly the government’s communication champion for children, and a founding trustee of EIF.

Dr Aleisha Clarke

Head of what works, child mental health & wellbeing, EIF

At EIF, Aleisha is currently leading a major review of evidence on adolescent mental health interventions. Before joining EIF, she was a Marie Curie research fellow at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, where her research focused on the use of online technologies to support parental engagement in children’s social and emotional learning.

Bethia McNeil

Chief executive, Centre for Youth Impact

Bethia has been with the Centre for Youth Impact since its launch in September 2014. Prior to joining the team to set up the centre, Bethia worked at the Dartington Social Research Unit, the Young Foundation, the National Youth Agency and NIACE (now the Learning and Work Institute) in a variety of policy and research roles.

Emma Lewis

Head, Heathmere Primary School

Emma has led the journey of Heathmere Primary School, on the Alton Estate in Roehampton, Wandsworth, from Requiring Improvement to Good. She advocates for the role that primary schools should play in delivering strong social and emotional learning practices.

Prof Robin Banerjee

Professor of developmental psychology, University of Sussex

As a professor of developmental psychology, Robin leads the CRESS (Children’s Relationships, Emotions, and Social Skills) research lab, which conducts investigations of children’s social and emotional functioning, and works closely with practitioners and policymakers in the areas of education and mental health.

Breakout 4: Youth crime and violence: What do we know about what works?

Reshard Auladin (chair)

Non-executive director, National Crime Agency

A magistrate for over 30 years, Reshard sits in family courts in north London, and he is also a member of the joint audit panel of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and the Metropolitan Police. He is a trustee of EIF and of the Bell Foundation, an education charity, and runs a business in the mental health care sector.

Peter Babudu

Head of research and youth understanding, Youth Endowment Fund

Peter leads evidence work for the Youth Endowment Fund, the 10-year, £200m initiative to prevent children and young people becoming involved in violence. He was previously a director at the Social Innovation Partnership, where he led dozens of evaluations and supported the strategic development and delivery of Project Oracle.

Anna Crispe

Assistant director of knowledge and intelligence, public health, Suffolk County Council

Anna joined Public Health Suffolk in 2015, where she has been instrumental in establishing the Suffolk Office for Data & Analytics, and in helping to drive the introduction of population health analytics in the area through collaboration with the Suffolk & North East Essex Integrated Care System.

Prof Manuel Eisner

Wolfson professor of criminology, University of Cambridge

Manuel is also director of the Violence Research Centre at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. He is principal investigator of the Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood, and of the international Evidence for Better Lives project, a research initiative to address violence against children.

Rachel Coffey

Head of serious violence priority projects, Home Office

Rachel leads the Home Office’s local delivery programmes to tackle serious violence – violence reduction units (VRUs) and police surge activity – and she also heads up the team that oversees government engagement with the Youth Endowment Fund.

Ministerial keynote

Vicky Ford MP

Minister for children and families

Vicky Ford MP is the member of parliament for Chelmsford, since June 2017. Ms Ford was appointed parliamentary under-secretary in the Department for Education in February 2020. She has previously sat on the House of Commons science and technology committee and the women and equalities committee.

Plenary panel discussion: Putting early intervention at the heart of a children’s agenda

Prof Nick Pearce (chair)

Chair, EIF

Nick is professor of public policy and director of the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath. In his career, he has been head of the No 10 Downing Street Policy Unit, director of the IPPR think-tank, and a special adviser in the Home Office and Department for Education and Employment.

Donna Molloy

Director of policy and practice, EIF

Donna has led work drive the use of EIF evidence since 2013. She works extensively with policymakers in Whitehall departments, national sector organisations and local areas. Before joining EIF she spent over 10 years in central government in various roles developing policy and programmes to provide targeted support to children and families.

Jenny Coles

President, Association of Directors of Children’s Services

Prior to becoming ADCS President in April 2020, Jenny was chair of the ADCS national Families, Communities & Young People policy group. She has been a senior manager in local authority children’s services since 1997, and moved to the post of director of children’s services in Hertfordshire County Council in 2010.

David Simmonds MP

Education select committee

David Simmons MP is the member of parliament for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, since December 2019. He is currently a member of the education select committee and the House of Commons finance committee, and formerly a trustee of EIF.

Kaya Comer-Schwartz

Deputy leader and executive member for children & families, Islington London Borough Council

Kaya was born and raised in Islington and has represented Junction ward since 2013. She was appointed executive member for children, young people and families in March 2019, and deputy leader in 2020. She previously served as chair of Islington’s children services scrutiny committee.

Michelle Lee-Izu

Corporate director of development and innovation, Barnardo’s

Michelle was appointed to her current role in April 2019, following 18 months as the interim corporate director of children’s services. She has over 27 years of experience of strategic and operational leadership, in both the third sector and statutory agencies, and is currently a trustee for an international children’s charity.

Contact us

Early Intervention Foundation

10 Salamanca Place
London SE1 7HB
info@eif.org.uk +44 (0)20 3542 2481 Registered charity number 1152605 and a company limited by guarantee number 8066785

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