The FCCC researchers

Kathy Sylva (Principal Investigator)
Kathy Sylva is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Oxford. After earning a PhD at Harvard University she moved to Oxford where she served on the Oxford Preschool Research Group. Her book Childwatching at Playgroup and Nursery School broke new ground by questioning an unbridled ‘free play’ pedagogy. During this period she evaluated the High/Scope pre-school programme with its emphasis on the structured cycle of ‘plan, do, review’. She moved to London to carry out research on language and literacy learning in primary schools. In Early Intervention in Children with Reading Difficulties she and Jane Hurry showed that Reading Recovery is a successful, cost-effective intervention. While at the London Institute she was co-director of the Royal Society of the Arts Enquiry into Early Years Education (Start Right Report). She returned to Oxford and is one of the leaders of the DfES research on the Effective Provision of Pre-school Education (EPPE) project. A dominant theme throughout her work is the impact of education not only on ‘academic’ knowledge but on children’s problem-solving, social skills and behaviour. A constant theme throughout her work is the impact of early intervention in combating social exclusion. She was Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee on Education and Skills in 2001 and in 2004.

Alan Stein (Principal Investigator)
Alan Stein is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the University of Oxford and an Honorary Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Mental Health Partnership Trust. (He was also an Honorary Consultatnt with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust at the time of the study.) He received his medical education at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and did most of his postgraduate training in Oxford. He also held a post at the Winnicott Research Unit in the University of Cambridge for 5 years. Before taking up his current position he was Professor of Child and Family Mental Health at the Royal Free and University College Medical School and the Tavistock Centre. The main focus of his research has concerned the development of young children in the face of adversity. The ultimate aim of this work has been to find ways of enhancing children’s development and helping to support their families. He is also committed to the training of medical students and young doctors in these important areas of work.

Penelope Leach (Principal Investigator)
Penelope Leach is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Tavistock Clinic and at the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues, Birkbeck. Educated at Cambridge and the London School of Economics, her EARLY research included work on: the causes of juvenile crime for the Home Office; a study of parental discipline in relation to children’s moral values for which she received her PhD in 1964 from the University of London; and a pioneering four-year study of the effects of babies on their parents (rather than parents on their babies) under the auspices of the Medical Research Council.
Best known as the author of Your Baby and Child (revised version for today; Dorling Kindersley 2010) she is internationally recognised as an advocate for both parents and children. As a member of the Commission on Social Justice, she was co-author, with Patricia Hewitt of its issues paper Social Justice, Children and Families (1994). A founder member of the Children are Unbeatable Alliance in 1988, she served on the National Commission on Children and Violence and on the British Medical Association’s Committee on Child Health (1997-1999). President of the National Childminding Association until 2009, she published Child Care Today, what we know and what we need to know in 2009 (Polity Press) and The Essential First Year in 2010 (Dorling Kindersley). She currently sits on the CSJ’s Mental Health Review and is a founder member of the Mindful Policy Group(

Jacqueline Barnes (Senior Researcher)
Jacqueline Barnes is Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London, based at the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues. She is an internationally recognised expert in the study of community characteristics, family functioning and young children’s behaviour and has conducted research in the UK, Europe and the USA. Her current research interests are: evaluation of early intervention programmes related to children’s health and development and parenting; community characteristics and the environment as they relate to family functioning and children; the impact of parental illness and the use of assisted reproduction on parenting and child behaviour; and the use of child care in the early years, particularly factors associated with mothers returning to work after having a new baby. Professor Barnes is one of the principal investigators of the national evaluation of the government’s Sure Start local programmes initiative.

Lars-Erik Malmberg (Senior Researcher)
Senior Research Fellow, Lars-Erik Malmberg, earned his PhD in Education at Åbo Akademi University, in Vasa, Finland, in 1998. Between 1988-2000 he was a primary school teacher, lecturer, research fellow, and involved in educational projects in Tanzania. Before joining the FCCC project in 2002, he was a post-doctoral fellow in the USA, and Research Officer at the University of London. He has published on adolescents’ future-orientation, children’s and teachers’ action-control beliefs based on a number of international research collaborations. His methodological interests lie in Structural Equation and Multilevel modelling techniques for the investigation of longitudinal change, and in the estimation of missing values. His research interests are in effects of early child care on later educational adjustment, and teachers’ action-control beliefs and motivation.

Core Fieldwork Team
Beverley Davies, Jenny Godlieb, Lindsay Hague, Denise Jennings, Michelle Nichols, Bina Ram, Angela Triner, Jo Walker
Other Research Staff
Luc Altmann, Catherine Bailey, Katherine Bethell, Gemma Ellis, Kate Field, Cath Keyworth, Leanne Liggit, Margaret Quigley, Kate Mesley, Vivienne Nunn, James Walker-Hall
Collaborators in Sub-Studies
Simon Lewis, Andrew West, Catherine O’Callaghan, John Goldin