Early Childhood Education and Care

Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) refers to education and childcare provided in regulated settings from birth to the start of primary school. This POSTnote summarises the evidence on the association between ECEC and children’s development in England and the key factors that affect this.

It also covers the impact of government-funded ECEC places on families and the sector, and stakeholder perspectives on public policy priorities.

New report – Adolescent mental health: A systematic review on the effectiveness of school-based interventions. from the Early Intervention Foundation

This broad report looks at a wide range of mental health concerns and potential responses that schools can make, examining the latest evidence on the effectiveness of interventions designed to:

  • enhance young people’s mental health and wellbeing
  • prevent or reduce mental health problems, including anxiety, depression and suicidality
  • address behavioral difficulties, including bullying, aggression and sexual violence or harassment.

Link to download: Adolescent mental health: A systematic review on the effectiveness of school-based interventions | Early Intervention Foundation (eif.org.uk)

Have you developed a Sensory Sanctuary?

Building on Victoria Wells concept of ‘Sports Sanctuaries’ (the paper published previously on this website:(https://barrycarpentereducation.files.wordpress.com/2020/11/sport-sanctuaries_.pdf).

A school in Northern Ireland, Riverside, has developed the concept of Sensory Sanctuaries, and are now developing these alongside their Sports Sanctuary.

“Our sensory sanctuary is in a space positioned in the centre of our school, which is easily accessible for all. It is filled with natural light and has both outdoor and indoor elements. It will be filled with restorative sensory experiences that aim to promote inner peace and calm in our young people, enabling emotional self-regulation. For those learners who find it more difficult to transition to the area, the sanctuary will be accessible to them in their classrooms through sensory boxes replicating activities in the sensory sanctuary.”

An outline paper, by Shona McCann is below, but the key message is think about this concept for the children in your school. How would it aid their readjustment back to the busy school environment? How would it help process excessive sensory stimulation after a quieter life in Lockdown, and avoid sensory overload?

The work builds on the principles and values of the Recovery Curriculum. We need to emotionally regulate to educate, and this concept is ideal for bringing that to child centred reality.

It is my pleasure to supervise this Project, and as the work developed updates will be posted. So watch this space!

Professor Barry Carpenter

26th April 2021.


Parent Perspective and Advice on Preparing Your Kids to Lead Happy, Healthy, and Successful Lives, by Kristen Louis

As you navigate the ups and downs of parenting, these useful tips and insights will prove invaluable. “Every parent wants their kids to grow up to be happy, healthy, and successful individuals”, says parent Kristen Louis.
Download her advice and tips for free below. – Downloads in docx file format.
Preparing Your Kids to Lead Happy, Healthy, and Successful Lives by Kristen Louis - Article


Website Link: parentingwithkris.com

Information sheets to support Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Information sheets to support Teachers and Teaching Assistants 

These are the first in a series of information sheets which are being produced by the National Forum for Neuroscience and Special Education  ​

The five topics covered so far are:

  1. What teachers need to know about acquired brain injury (ABI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  2. What teachers need to know about developmental language disorder (DLD)
  3. What teachers need to know about foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
  4. What teachers need to know about prematurity
  5. What te​achers need to know about trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)​

Click this link to view the sheets : –



National forum for neuroscience and special education

“Education is concerned with enhancing learning, and neuroscience is concerned with understanding the mechanisms of learning. It seems only logical that one should inform the other.” Professor, Dame Uta Frith, Patron of the National Forum for Neuroscience and Special Education.

This group brings together scientists, teachers and social care professionals to share knowledge, best practice and expertise on special education in the context of neuroscience.

The forum aims to do the following:

  • Encourage discourse around the changing pattern of childhood disability
  • Share insights from both fields that lead to innovative practice and better learning outcomes for children
  • Campaign on issues of interest to the forum (for example, better training for teachers, more support for students with mental health issues and greater flexibility in the school system over ages and class groups).

The group works closely with the autism and girls forum and reports to our SEND sector council. And it is an independent group that we currently serve.


The group was founded in 2011 by Professor Barry Carpenter CBE, Professor Francesca Happé and Dr Rona Tutt OBE (a past president of NAHT). It emerged from discussions about how to facilitate closer working between neuroscientists and those working with children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).


Anxiety: A guide for parents (from Cerebra)

Each month we highlighting one of our information resources. This month it’s the turn of our Anxiety guide. It can be difficult to spot signs of anxiety in others, especially in children with brain conditions, who can’t always express what they’re feeling. Our anxiety guide gives advice on spotting the common signs and gives some strategies for helping your child reduce their anxiety.

Click the cover image below, or here to download this free resource from Cereba




Grief in Children – using ‘The Bereavement Box’ (Updated)

In this recording, Professor Carpenter discusses the issue of grief, loss and mourning in children during this pandemic period.

The Bereavement Box resource can obtained from the following website link: nurtureuk