Prof. Iram Siraj-Blatchford
Dr. John Bennett
Dr. Martin Westwell

※ Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchford

Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchford gained her doctorate while working at the University of Warwick. In the mid '90s she joined the Institute of Education, University of London where she later became Professor of Early Childhood Education while still in her 30s. Her recent research projects have included: Evaluation of the Foundation Phase across Wales and she is a principal investigator of the major DfES ten-year study on Effective Pre-school and Primary Education (EPPE 3-11) Project (1997-2008) and of the Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years project. She has always been particularly interested in undertaking research which aims to combat disadvantage and to give children and families from these backgrounds a head start. She is a specialist, early years advisor to governments in the UK and overseas. She is visiting professor of ECE at Beijing Normal University. Professor Siraj-Blatchford lives in Cambridge with her husband John. A sample of her publications from the past 5 years includes:

2007 Siraj-Blatchford, I., Milton, E., Sylva, K., Laugharne, J. and Charles, F.
'Developing the Foundation Phase for 3-7 year-olds in Wales', Welsh Journal of Education (in press)

2007 Siraj-Blatchford, I., Clarke, K & Needham, M. (Eds) The Team Around the Child: Multi-agency working in the early years, Stoke-on Trent, Trentham Books

2007 Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Manni, Effective Leadership in the Early Years Sector: The ELEYS study. Issues in Practice Series, Institute of Education, University of London

2006 Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Siraj-Blatchford, J. A curriculum development guide to ICT in Early Childhood Education, Stoke-on Trent, Trentham Books

2006 Siraj-Blatchford, I., Sammons, P., Taggart, B., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E. 'Educational Research and Evidence Based Policy: The Mixed Method Approach of the EPPE Project' in Evaluation and Research in Education Vol 19 No 2 pp 63-82

2006 Sylva, K. , Siraj-Blatchford, I., Taggart , B., Sammons , P., Melhuish , E., Elliot, K. and Totsika, V. 'Capturing Quality In Early Childhood Through Environmental Rating Scales', in Early Childhood Research Quarterly Volume 21, Issue 1, 1st Quarter 2006, Pages 76-92

2005 Siraj-Blatchford, I. 'Interaction Matters for babies and toddlers' in Abbott and Langston: Birth to Three Matters, Open University Press, Buckingham

2004 Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Sylva, K. 'Researching Pedagogy in English Pre-Schools' with Sylva, British Educational Research Journal, Vol. No.

2004 ‏Siraj-Blatchford, I. Quality Teaching in the Early Years' in Anning, A., Cullen, J. and Fleer, M. (Eds.) Early Childhood Education: Society and Culture, London: Sage

2004 Siraj-Blatchford, I. 'Educational Disadvantage in the early years: How do we overcome it? Some lessons from research' European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, Vol 12, No 2, pp5-20 ISSN 1350-293X

Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Siraj-Blatchford, J. 'Discriminating between Schemes and Schemata in Young Children's Emergent Learning of Science and Technology' in International Journal of Early Years Education Vol 10 No 3

Siraj-Blatchford, I., Sylva, K., Muttock, Gilden & Bell Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years DfES Research Report 356

Dr. John Bennett

Senior Consultant to the OECD Country Network


Dr. John Bennett was director of the Early Childhood and Family unit at UNESCO from 1989-97. During these years he was official representative to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Committee for the International Year of the Family. He joined the OECD as senior consultant to the Early Childhood Policy Review in 1998. In that capacity, he co-authored with various experts country analyses of ECEC policy and organisation, and with Michelle Neuman, authored a comparative work on early childhood policy in twelve countries entitled Starting Strong: early childhood education and care, published by the OECD in June 2001. From 2005-2006, he prepared with Professor Collette Tayler, QUT, Starting Strong II, a similar report on 20 countries, which was published by the OECD in September 2006.

Dr. Bennett is author of many articles, including contributions to the International Encyclopaedia of Education, Encyclopaedia of the Social and Behavioural Sciences, International Journal of Children's Rights.He is also a member of several international juries and committees in the fields of early education and children's rights.

List of recent publications

Early Childhood Education, Democracy and Citizenship (2007) in Asia-Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 2007 (in press)

“New Policy Conclusions from Starting Strong II: an update on the OECD early childhood policy reviews” in Early Childhood Education and Care(2007), Shanghai

onclusions de Starting Strong II : une mise a jour de l’examen de l’OCDE des politiques de la petite enfance (2007) Paris, Le Furet, 2007 (in press)

Starting Strong II, OECD 2006, Paris

Accompanying pre-school into education (2006), a published lecture for the Institute of Education, London

Children in Europe,Vol. 7, 2005 - guest editor for the edition on Curriculum and Assessment in the Early Years, Edinburgh

Handbook of Diversity in Parent Education, ed.s Fine & Lee, Academic Press, 2005) Chapter.

Contribution de l’examen thématique de l’OCDE des politiques d'accueil et d'éducation de la petite enfance à l'étude des relations parents – professionnels, Prospects, 2005, IBE, Geneva (avec Sylvie Rayna)

Daycare Trust, 2005, contributor to Policy Paper, No. 4, Learning with other countries, London

Dr. Martin Westwell

Deputy Director, Institute for the Future of the Mind

Martin Westwell is Deputy Director of the Institute for the Future of the Mind part of the JamesMartin21stCenturySchool at OxfordUniversity.

After completing his degree and PhD at CambridgeUniversity, Martin moved to OxfordUniversity as a Research Fellow in Biological and Medical Sciences at Lincoln College. While at Oxford, Martin undertook a number of research projects in neuroscience and became more active in education and public-engagement-with-science initiatives.

After working in industry and with a number of education organizations, Martin returned to Oxford in 2005 to take up his current position at the Institute for the Future of the Mind where he runs the research programs and collaborations on the influence of modern lifestyles and technologies on the minds of the young and the old. A particularly important aspect of this work focuses upon neuroscience and education.

As well as undertaking laboratory research, the Institute for the Future of the Mind works closely with the UK parliament, through the Institute Director Baroness Susan Greenfield, and an all party group of MPs and peers who consider how scientific research can help inform education policy. Martin also works with the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Industry and Her Majesty Treasury to help the UK government engage with some of the issues raised by a scientific understanding of learning.

Martin frequently addresses specialist education and neuroscience meetings and gives many talks to general audiences. He has won a number of awards for communicating science to non-scientists and he is regularly interviewed on TV, radio and in the press on a range of scientific issues.

Throughout all of the work of the Institute for the Future of the Mind, the aim is to provide access to scientific evidence to help inform the decision making of parents, teachers, policy makers and others.