Research,
Consultancy and Training

  • Claire Burgess

    Head of Research, Consultancy and Training

    Claire Burgess is Head of Norland's Research, Consultancy and Training department. Claire studied at Norland College and then graduated in 2001. She worked as a nanny for many years, and then followed her passion for Early Years by managing day nurseries. In 2008 Claire joined Norland as an Education Lecturer. She has since gained a Masters in Educational Practice (completed February 2014) and a Certificate of Education (completed June 2010). Claire is also the Programme Manager for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Norland trained professionals and designs and delivers a range of tailored courses. 

    She won ‘Trainer of the Year ‘in September 2014 at the Nursery World Awards with a submission supported by students and external clients, as well as being awarded 'Best Bespoke Childcare Consultancy' by CV Magazine in 2016.

    In addition to her responsibilities outlined above, Claire represents Norland as Honorary Consultant for TAMBA (The Twins and Multiple Births Association). She is also the Public Relations spokesperson for Norland and writes for various parenting titles on a regular basis.

    Claire undertakes extensive CPD to ensure her knowledge and skills are up to date – most recently this has included ‘understanding children’s mental health’, ‘sleep success’ workshop, ‘the impact of early childhood trauma’ and participation in a Prevent duty training session in January 2015. Claire also continues to nanny in the holidays to ensure her childcare experience is current.

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  • Katie Crouch

    Early Years Consultant

    Katie Crouch is one of Norland's Early Years Consultants within our Research, Consultancy and Training department.

    Katie studied Early Childhood Studies and Linguistics at the University of the West of England and graduated with first class honours in 2010.  She has previously worked in a range of medical and educational settings, providing a range of play based therapy, language development and educational support for children and their families.

    Before Katie joined Norland, she led a chain of Nurseries, ensuring a high standard of early years practise and provision across seven settings. Through private consultancy, providing professional development and establishing enabling environments, she supported many settings on their journeys to improve outcomes for children. Katie is also a qualified teacher and holds the Early Years Professional Status (completed in 2012 and 2013).  She has worked in schools across the south west implementing and establishing quality early years units for two to four year olds; she also built and established one of the first school based, funded two year old units in Swindon.

    Katie has also worked with Speech and Language Therapy units in supporting language development and inclusion. She was the Head of Inclusion for a large Primary School where she incorporated practises influenced by published research.    

    Katie holds a Masters (completed with Merits in 2013) in Education and specialising in the early years. She has continued to share her love of early years through delivering bespoke training and guidance within schools, settings and for the University of the West of England. Katie has continued her enthusiasm for language development and inclusion within early childhood experiences and undertakes extensive CPD to ensure her knowledge and skills are up to date; most recently she has participated in Emotion Coaching and No Fear training which included topics such as positive communication and mediation strategies.

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  • Dr Karen McInnes

    Research Fellow

    Dr Karen McInnes is the Research Fellow within our Research, Consultancy and Training department. 

    Karen has a first degree in Speech Therapy and is a qualified early years teacher with a PGCE and MA in Early Years Education. She is also a qualified play therapist with an MSc (distinction) in Play Therapy. She has a PhD in early years education and psychology from the University of Glamorgan and her PhD thesis looked at the role of playful practice for learning in the early years. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has previously been a lecturer, senior lecturer and programme leader for Masters programmes at Bath Spa University and was the award leader for the MSc Play Therapy at the University of South Wales. She has also been a senior researcher with Barnardo’s National Policy and Research Unit undertaking a variety of research projects concerned with children’s wellbeing and development. 

    Latterly, at Bath Spa University, she was jointly responsible for setting up and developing the Early Years, Childhood and Youth Research Centre. Her most recent research has focused on children’s and practitioners’ perceptions of play and playfulness and the impact on teaching and learning and on the Attachment Aware Schools Project with Dr Janet Rose, Principal of Norland College. Karen has published extensively in the field of early years education and presented at both national and international conferences. 

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