Ms Helen Perkins

Senior Lecturer in Childhood and Family Studies

Email address: Phone number: 01902 322219 Location: Walsall Faculty: Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing School/Institute: Institute of Education Areas of expertise: Early Years workforce


I have been teaching Early Childhood Education and Care in further and higher education since 2002, I started  my career in FE as a tutor, then course leader for  Higher education programmes and more recently as Head of School for Early Childhood Studies. I joined the University of Wolverhampton in July 2015 as senior lecturer in Childhood and Family studies. I have experience working in the Early Years Foundation Stage and with children with additional needs. I have recently completed research on the impact of HE on practitioners professional and personal development and a project for the HEA on creative teaching of research methods. I have an MA in Early Childhood Education from the University of Sheffield and am currently studying for a Doctorate in Education. My research interest is centered on the professionalisation of the ECEC workforce. I had the privilege of serving as an expert panel member for the recent Nutbrown Review of Early Years qualifications.

I teach a selection of modules in Childhood and Family Studies including, Language and Literacy in the Early Years, Working with Individuals and Groups, Rights, Responsibilities and Advocacy, The Role of Play and Professional Roles.

Research interests

Enterprise, Knowledge Transfer & Consultancy 

Early Childhood Studies Visions and Values project in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Wolverhampton’s  Early Years Employer Exchange Forum

Developing Apprenticeships: Lead advisor for a London Children’s Centre

Early Years Educator Consultant for BTEC /Pearson

HEA funded Project: Creative Research Methods in College Based Higher Education collaboration with Prof. Alex Kendall BCU

QAA funded project ‘Transitions’ collaboration with  Prof. Alex Kendall BCU

Membership of professional bodies

ECEERA - European Early Childhood Education Research Association

BERA – British Education Research Association

TACTYC – Association for Professional Development in Early years

CREC (Centre for Research in Early Childhood) – Learning Circle


MA in Early Childhood Education  (University of Sheffield), 2008.

Post Graduate Certificate in Education FAHE), 2004.

Advanced Diploma in Childcare and Education, 2001.

C&G 730 Certificate in Teaching Further & Adult  Education, 1991.

Doctor of Education (EdD) University of Sheffield, tbc.



Journals (include web links if applicable)

Books/Book Chapters (include ISBN numbers)

Practitioner Publications and Reports


Brown, Z. Edwards, T. and Perkins, H. (2017) The placement journey: Do year one placement modules support Childhood Studies students’ professional development? Journal of Adult and Continuing Education Volume: 23 issue: 2, page(s): 162-177


Perkins, H. (2017) From Training to Qualification: The journey of Level 3 early years student-practitioners. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.


The Nutbrown Review:  Foundations for Quality: The independent review of early education and childcare qualifications


Kendall, A. & Perkins, H. (2014) Creative Research Methods in College Based Higher Education (2014) Higher Education Academy, York


Alexandra Kendall, Danielle Carey, Andy Cramp & Helen Perkins (2012): Barriers

and solutions to HE progression for Early Years’ practitioners, Journal of Vocational Education & Training,


Salmon, G. (2011) E-Moderating. Case Study 

Various contributions to Nursery World


Conference Presentations

Oral presentations/seminars/workshops


Invited Presentations


2017 EECERA Conference, Bologna, Italy: Early Childhood Education Beyond the Crisis: Social Justice, Solidarity and Children’s Rights . A work in progress:
The developing level 3 practitioner


2016 University of Wolverhampton Early Years Conference: Conference theme: ‘Parent Partnerships in the Early Years’ Developing Professional Identity


Oxford Brookes ACP Conference

Creative methods in teaching Research Skills

TACTYC Birmingham

Presentation: Early Years Student Journey to Practitioner Status


Higher Education in the Globalised Age - A One Day Research Conference

University of Sheffield

Listening to old wives tales: small stories as the stuff of professional learning – identity


HE and FE Collaboration: Commensalism, partisanism or mutualism (2014)  Key Note speaker to West Midlands Post 1992 forum. HEA Social Sciences Workshop: Developing a Research-led culture with in post 1992 education departments.


Pearson /Edexcel  Early Years Conference: Professionalisation of the Early Years Workforce


IPDA International Professional Development Association July 2013, Aston University:

Listening to old wives tales: small stories as the stuff of professional learning


Birmingham City University Research Conference June 2013

Listening to old wives tales: small stories as the stuff of professional learning: Research Methods


Men in Childcare (2013) London Early Years Foundation (LEYF)

Developing the Early Years Workforce (20113) Capita Conference: London


Higher Education Academy - Research Methods in Social Sciences Conference, Liverpool June 2013.Listening to old wives tales: small stories as the stuff of professional learning: Research Methods


BECERA (2013) The Phenomenon of Placement as a Vehicle for Professional Development.


Birmingham, Black Country and Solhull Lifelong Learning Network Conference

Progression: towards a ‘fit for purpose’ progression model for early years Practitioners:  Final report of the Barriers and Solutions project


Quality Improvement Agency Conference London

 Presentation of research: Learners as researchers.



Previous professional experience

Head of school for Early years and Childhood Studies in FE: 2005 to 2015.

To provide academic leadership in relation to people management, student recruitment and carry out staff appraisal, probationary meetings and overseeing staff the management of staff including workloads. To develop the curriculum offer to include FE, Adult learning, Apprenticeships and HE.

To work collaboratively with HE partners to develop the HE offer. To maintain quality and standards in HE and FE programmes. This included validating the courses and keeping abreast of changes in the field, ensuring the curriculum offer was in line with current policy and practice. In addition I have developed an HE research group and contributed to the staff development programme

I have collaboratively written and developed Foundation Degree in Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusive Practice

I also supported level 6 dissertation supervision. I gained Senior Fellowship of the HEA and  mentored colleagues through their HEA applications

Lecturer in Early Years and Childhood Studies: Planning for teaching, learning and assessment across a range of programmes for full time, part time adult and HE learners. 2002 to 2005.

Personal tutor

Programme leader for Teaching Assistants Certificates Programmes, the Sector Endorsed Foundation Degree in Early Years and Playwork Certificates.

Responsibility for the resources and the learning environment

Foundation Stage Senior Practitioner: 1996 to 2002.

Assessing and managing learning for children 3 -5yrs

Running parent group

Training and developing team of TAs

Student practitioner mentor

Managing resources

Further information


Other relevant professional and voluntary activities


Memeber of the Employer Exchange Forum. University of Wolverhampton

Expert Panel Member for The Nutbrown Review:  Foundations for Quality: The independent review of early education and childcare qualifications

Reviewer for Edexcel / Pearson Qualifications


External Examiner role for an academic programme (give University, programme title, level of award and duration of appointment)



Periodic Review for the Foundation Degree in Early Years: Teeside University: External Academic Expert

Validation of HND Early Years for Solihull College: Academic and subject knowledge expert



BRIC International Project Gothenburg June 2017: Preschool teachers, young children and parents in exploring democratic engagement in public and civic spaces.


ISSA International Conference  October 2017: “Local Responses, Global Advances: Towards Competent Early Childhood Systems


Provided Development training for:

Managing Behaviour

Questioning Techniques




Enhancing the Quality of the Student Experience

Developing Supervision Skills

Safeguarding Training

Safer Recruitment Training

Working with Babies and Children 0-5

Domestic Violence Awareness

Behaviour Management

Planning for Learning

Developing Early Literacy

Equality and Diversity

Disability and Inclusion