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I am fully booked now until March 2024 taking bookings from 2024 onwards.


Early Childhood Theories Today

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Ruth Swailes

Ruth headshotRuth is the Director of Assure Education and has almosr 30  years’ experience in primary education, over 20 of them in senior leadership roles including primary headship. Ruth has worked as a School Improvement Advisor, Early Years consultant and moderator in several Local Authorities; supporting leaders and teachers to improve outcomes for pupils. Passionate about Primary education, particularly Early Years, Ruth has taught from Nursery to Y6.

In 2014 she trained as an Ofsted inspector, combining this role with a number of other roles in education.

Ruth currently fulfills a range of different education improvement roles. She works part-time as a School Improvement Advisor to several Local Authority schools. Throughout her time in the Local Authority Advisory service, she has a  proven track record of improving schools and helping to secure good and outstanding Ofsted outcomes in the schools in which she works, this role also involves performance management for Headteachers and supporting governing bodies with strategic leadership.

Ruth also works with a range of MATS, Teaching Schools Alliances, Academy and LA schools throughout the UK providing training, school improvement advice, appraisal, coaching, mentoring, and practical advice and support.

In 2022-23 Ruth has worked with the following LAs: Barnsley, Birmingham, Bradford,  Buckinghamshire, Calderdale, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Coventry, Cumbria,  Darlington, Derby, Derbyshire, Devon, Doncaster, Durham, Ealing, Essex, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Kirklees, Lancashire, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Milton Keynes, Norfolk, North East Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Reading,  Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Slough, St Helens, Stoke on Trent, Sutton, Torbay  Warwickshire, Wigan, Wirral and Wokingham.

She has worked with the following associations in the last 12 months: Early Education local branches, The Local Government Association, The National Association of Headteachers, The National Association of Small Schools, The National Literacy Trust, Oxford University Press, Oxford International, GEMS schools, British Schools Middle East, Best Practice Network, Learn Sheffield. 

Ruth is the lead author, curriculum consultant, and trainer on the Oxford University Press International Early Years curriculum. She has recently completed the OICEY curriculum for 2-3 year olds. 

Ruth is passionate about Education, particularly in the 0-7 phase and is a founding member of the “Firm Foundations” grassroots Early Years movement, bringing high-quality training and debate at minimal cost to educators across the country. 

Ruth presents the Childhood Chatter show on Teacher Hug Radio – The soundtrack to your teaching career. She has written for The Early Years Blog | FamlyEarly Years Educator | Early Years Educator where she serves on the editorial board,  Ruth Swailes, Author at Yorkshire Bylines,  amongst other publications, and was named Nursery World Trainer of the Year 2021 and a leading International "Edruptor" in 2022 by the ISC.

Ruth has now returned to work following her recent bereavement and is taking bookings for September 2024 onwards with a few available dates remaining in the 2023/24 academic year.

  • Ruth has worked with a number of schools across Cheshire West and Chester over the last twelve months. Her training has helped me and many of my colleagues develop a greater understanding of outstanding early years practice, curriculum and child development, assessment and inspection. When supporting schools, Ruth skilfully draws upon her experience as a Teacher, Headteacher, School Improvement Advisor, Early Years Consultant and OFSTED Inspector. She has a deep understanding of best practice in early years education based on evidence , and not the latest education fad or top down initiative.
    Simon Kidwell - Head Teacher, Harford Manor Primary School, NAHT National Executive and Early Years Sector Council.
  • In October 2018 I accompanied a colleague to London to attend a day’s conference led by Ruth Swailes on the Foundation Stage and Early Years. It was a most enjoyable and informative day with the very latest ‘cutting edge’ updates, advice and guidance. Ruth is a delightful speaker who exudes passion and empathy for the needs of children in their first years in a setting, and I would not hesitate to recommend seeking her expertise to update and inform for all involved in the Early Years.
    Ros Wilson - Education Consultant.
  • Ruth is an authority on Early Years education and child development. But more than this, she’s an authority who can communicate her knowledge with humour, humanity and humility. She is able to bring together ideals and practical knowledge of systems to help teachers to understand how a healthy, challenging and stimulating early years environment can work. Her experience, as a teacher, leader and inspector means she understands, better than most, how practice can be embedded in effective ways while maintaining integrity and keeping the child at the centre of everything we do.
    Debra Kidd - Teacher, Trainer, Author of 'Notes from the front line', 'Becoming Mobius' and 'Uncharted Territories'.
  • People like Ruth are a rare find - passionate, dynamic and with a wealth of school leadership experience, Ruth is unafraid of posing challenge whilst at same time being supportive towards positive change. She has gift of providing effective guidance to improve Early Years practice and provision, and training sessions with Ruth always enable reflection and improvements in quality and outcomes for children.
    Greg Bottrill - Consultant, Teacher, Author of 'Can I go and play now'.
  • Ruth speaks with power and a great depth of knowledge both about the policies that shape Early Years education and the realities of running a classroom that benefits all children. 
    Benjamin Doxdator – Teacher.
  • Ruth is the Go to Guru for all things EYFS. Her knowledge of this area of education is unparalleled. Ruth is insightful and inspirational. She offers the perfect blend of support and provocation.
    Bryn Llewellyn - Director of Tagtiv8 and Move and Learn UK.
  • We worked with Ruth over a day, reviewing aspects of our provision. To sum her up, she gets stuck in, helping move furniture, positioning resources while she says why. For a Headteacher who spent all his teaching in KS2, I value Ruth's expertise and ability to explain EYFS and other aspects of school with a holistic view of the child's education. I would thoroughly recommend Ruth to any school and setting.
    Alan Brown - Headteacher, Oldfield Primary School.
  • I have worked with Ruth over several years and she has always provided excellent support to my school, staff and myself. She is very knowledgeable and offers practical, supportive and up-to-date advice.  Her visits have always led to positive impact on our practice. I would highly recommend Ruth in providing professional, practical and helpful support.
    Jane Macey - Headteacher, Ham Street Primary school, Kent.
  • Ruth came to deliver a key note speech for our NUT Young Teacher's Conference in Sheffield. Delegates were from the primary, secondary and specialist sectors, and although Ruth delivered a session based on the EYFS and Bold Beginnings, she was able to make it relevant to everyone in the room (I particularly enjoyed it as an early years qualified teacher!) Ruth offered theory and practical advice in equal measure, whilst acknowledging the issues we all face in the current education climate.
    Callum Wetherill - Specialist Leader in Education, Wellspring Academy.
  • Fantastic! Course. Thank you, Great ideas.
    Training participant
  • Really valuable course - given us the confidence to have more of a voice.
    Training participant.
  • Fantastic - Going back to school with lots of ideas.
    Training participant.
  • An inspiring day that has given time for reflection. Very thought provoking!
    Training participant.
  • A very valuable session with a good balance of reflection and opportunity to talk with colleagues from the other School.
    Training participant.
  • Fantastic! Than you so much. Very valuable and informative :-).
    Training participant.