Our Senior Team
Meeting people, sharing ideas and forming partnerships is how we work at Early Excellence – and here are some of the people you will meet as you explore working with us.
Our National Development Managers lead on strategic developments in EYFS and KS1, whilst our Regional Development Managers focus on facilitating training for local clusters, teaching schools and academy trusts across England. They are supported by our team of highly experienced Consultants who lead all of our training and development services and our National Services Manager who co-ordinates all our nationwide training.
Founder & CEO
Liz Marsden is the Founder and Director of Early Excellence. She is an inspirational leader who cares deeply about the quality of young children’s education. Prior to establishing Early Excellence, Liz worked as a teacher in Early Years and KS1 and held senior roles as Deputy, Headteacher, LA Advisor and Inspector. She is a highly experienced consultant and trainer in Early Years and KS1.
Jan Dubiel is a highly regarded national speaker and the National Director of Early Excellence. He has a strong commitment to developing the pedagogy of early childhood, promoting deep thinking about practice and provision. Through his work as a Nursery, Reception and Y1 Teacher, and more recently as the Programme Leader for the EYFS and EYFS Profile at QCDA, Jan has pursued a particular interest in assessment and ways to document and demonstrate children’s achievement and progress.
National Development Manager
Lynda is a highly experienced school leader, adviser and consultant who has worked in the Early Years and Primary Sector for 35 years. She has a strong reputation for supporting school improvement developed through her roles as Headteacher of Primary School, LA Adviser, Head of Early Years & Childcare and School Improvement Partner for Salford Local Authority.
Regional Development Manager
Fiona Carter joined Early Excellence as a Regional Development Manager in the South. Her previous role of leading the EYFS in Reading focused on improving the quality of all early years settings, including schools and the teaching role in Children’s Centre’s. Before leading the team in the Local Authority, Fiona worked in Sheffield across all age phases and eventually specialised in setting up and leading Foundation Stage units in areas of deprivation.
Regional Development Manager
Jude is a highly talented early years consultant and trainer. She has a background steeped in early years having held a range of roles, first as a YR Teacher and then later as an Early Years Consultant and Children’s Centre Teacher. A trained NVQ Assessor and Ofsted Inspector, Jude has delivered training with BEAM on early years maths and collaborated with Michael Jones as co-author of Let’s Talk About Maths.
Regional Development Manager
As part of the Early Excellence Regional Development Team Nikki brings with her over twenty years experience of supporting quality Early Years practice. After ten years teaching in both the EYFS and KS1, she moved to Leicestershire County Council in an advisory role and soon became a Senior Improvement Advisor. In this role Nikki provided advice, support and challenge to childminders, settings and schools – she developed and delivered a wide range of CPD and was the EYFS Moderation Manager. Following this she became Service Manager for the Early Learning and Childcare Service and worked strategically to support leaders and managers in Teaching Schools and Multi-Academy Trusts.
Matthew has worked in early education for 16 years. He has taught and led the Early Years Foundation Stage in school reception classes and nurseries and has lectured in Early Years at Canterbury Christchurch University. Most recently he has worked as an Early Years Adviser with Kent County Council, developing and delivering training and providing advice, support and challenge to local settings and schools.
Curriculum Consultant & EYFS Trainer
Andy Burt is an experienced EYFS Teacher and School Leader who has explored open-ended, creative and innovative approaches to learning over a number of years. Research done in collaboration with Professor Pat Broadhead, focusing on Andy’s work, led to the exploration of ‘the whatever you want it to be place’ and the co-written text Understanding Young Children’s Learning through Play which was published by Routledge in 2011.
Curriculum Consultant & KS1 Trainer
Barbara Patterson is a highly experienced teacher who most recently worked as a KS1 Leader at Hartburn Primary School, judged an ‘outstanding school’ by Ofsted (2012). She is passionate about finding the best way for young children to learn and has worked tirelessly to develop the best possible environment and pedagogical approach for children in KS1 to become independent, enthusiastic learners.
Helen is an experienced teacher who has worked in the field of Early Years for over 24 years. During this time she has led the Early Years Foundation Stage in several schools and has worked for Wiltshire LA, where her role of Early Years Consultant enabled her to work alongside and provide training for schools and settings. Helen has also more recently been a Deputy Head teacher in a Teaching School in Wiltshire, where she engaged in school support in her role as an SLE (Specialist Leader of Education in Early Years), research based practice and training to support and develop effective Early Years practice.
Head of Centre
Phil has recently joined Early Excellence to manage our new London Centre. Over the last 16 years he has worked across the early years and primary sector, including headship positions. His most recent role was as head of an integrated early years centre. With a passion for collaborative practice and professional development; Phil has worked in partnership with early years settings, schools, teaching schools and local authorities to develop and deliver personalised programmes to meet their needs.
Louise has wide experience of teaching, training and writing educational materials across early years, primary and special education. As an LA Early Years Adviser in Herefordshire she set up partnership projects to support the inclusion of children with autism, early language and complex needs. Louise led the ‘Early Years Networks’ programme for The National Education Trust and wrote materials for the Early Support Developmental Journals and Scope’s ‘Learning Together’ online toolkit.
Denise is one of our highly experienced consultants, having spent many years with a Local Authority supporting schools and settings in their pursuit of quality practice. Early in her career she became an outstanding teacher and has taught every age range in the EYFS and KS1 – moving onto to become the EYFS Lead and Deputy Headteacher of a large infant school where she led on curriculum development across the whole school. Denise then moved onto Headship and led a Nursery School for five years with an emphasis on the developing children’s thinking and enquiry based learning, undertaking educational research projects and initiating collaborative working with other settings and educationalists.
Mair is a skillful EYFS Consultant based in our London Centre. She has more than 22 years teaching experience in a variety of schools and settings; working with 3-6 year olds. Mair has led Foundation Stage teams in schools across different local authorities and is committed to ensuring quality professional development for all early years professionals, whatever their role. She is especially passionate about maximizing children’s learning through the creation of rich, meaningful and inspiring learning environments.
National Services Manager
Joanne Henson has worked in early education for over 15 years. She has a broad range of teaching experiences from Nursery through to Year 2, both as a Class Teacher and also as a Children’s Centre Teacher. Most recently Joanne has worked as an Early Years Consultant for Doncaster LA. She was the strategic lead for Quality Improvement in Early Years and has vast experience delivering training, support and advice to schools and settings.