Carol Fenton

Carol Fenton

Position: Senior Lecturer

College: College of Education

Department: Education and Childhood

Subject area: Early Years

Show All


I am one of the Programme Leaders for the Early Childhood Studies Degree. As such I am responsible for the day to day administration of the progamme. I teach a number of modules across the programme. At stage 1 the Emerging Practioner and Study Skills modules.  I lead the Early Emotional and Social Development at stage 1  and the Leadership in the Early Years modules at stage 3. I am a dissertation supervisor and personal tutor for a number of students.

I am also Admissions Tutor for the degree.

Teaching responsibilities

, DEveloping Stage 1

I teach on the Emerging Practitioner and Study Skills modules. I lead the Early Social and Emotional Development modules

Stage 2


Stage 3

I am the module leader for Leadership in the Early Years and I tutor on the Critically Reflective and Developing Practitioner and Independent Study modules.

Professional interests

One of my professional interests is lifelong learning and professional development in education linked to school improvement. I studied for my degree as a mature student and this led to my interest in lifelong learning. This interest was developed in my role as a senior leader in school with school improvement work that centred on the professional developement of teaching assistants and support staff in school. Alongside this I developed an adult education centre within the school for both staff and parents who wanted to study for qualifications in childcare. I have acted as mentor for a number of students studying for undergraduate degrees, post graduate certificates in education, higher level teaching assistant qualifications and graduate qualified teacher status.

Within early years and statutory education my particular interest is a child's social and emotional development and the impact this may have on behaviour. As a headteacher I was instrumental in developing a Positive Play centre in the school and establishing a Nurture Group to support vulnerable children. Staff were trained in both Postive Play and Nurture Group techniques. These experiences and my own research on children's social and emotional development underpin my teaching of this very important aspect of child development.

Within Higher Education the opportunity for continued self and professional development is an interest of mine. This arose from completetion of the Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and the developement of my Masters research with centred on the quality of teaching in Higher Education. As a qualified primary school teacher I was interested in the development of quality teaching in Higher Education and whether skills could be transferred successfully, as well as the development of teaching skills for lecturers that have entered Higher Education with a non teaching background. This linked closely with my interest in lifelong learning and continued professional development.

Research interests

  • Colour Vision Deficiency and the effects on self esteem and educational achievement. This research provided a case for the re-establishment of mandatory testing for colour vision deficiency. Perpectives of both adults and children with colour vision deficiency were explored alongside the perspectives of professionals who work with affected children. The effects on self esteem were explored and the lasting impact into adulthood.


  • A Review of Mother and Baby Unit Provision in Her Majesties Prisons.


  • The value of continuing professional development for Teaching Assistants and Nursery Nurses. Support staff in education are often overlooked in terms of professional development. This research centred on enabling these staff to have a voice and be treated with the same equality as qualified teachers in the workplace. It underpinned school improvement work that enabled support staff to have a continued progression in their career paths.


  • The quality of teaching and learning for Higher Education students. This research explored the historical nature of a university education and its changing role in contemporary society. This changing role was explored in terms of student perspectives of Higher Education expectations, the tutor perspective in terms of the contemporary expectations of teaching. This was underpinned by the tutor perpective of the value of continuing professional development for unqualified academics in their teaching and learning capacity.


  • Play as the conduit for developing relationships between female offenders and their absent children. This research interest is as a result of developing some outreach work for a charity that supports the rehabilitation of female offenders.


Membership of professional bodies

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


  • Masters in Educatiion, UNiversity of Derby (2016)
  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, University of Derby (2004)
  • Graduate Teacher Programme (2004)
  • National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH) National College for School Leadership (2008)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, University of Derby (2014)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2016)

Recent conferences

Presented at A Child's World International Conference in Aberystwyth, Wales (2014) - Safeguarding: It's everybody's business.


Teaching and Learning Conference Buxton (2016)

Prison Reform Manchester (2017)

Additional interests and activities


I enjoy dancing and bike riding

Experience in industry

I started my professional career as a qualified nursery nurse. My first appointment was with a RNIB nursery supporting children with complex special needs. This was followed with 1:1 support of two children in mainstream school with varying special needs. I was then appointed to lead a rising fives group of children in key stage 1. This was followed by employment as an Educational Care Officer working with children from nursery to year 6, supporting both cognitive and social and emotional development. I undertook the role of governor and as such was responsible for writing the Disability Discrimination Action Plan adopted by a number of local authority schools. In this role I also trained as a qualified Health and Safety Officer and worked as such in a number of local authority schools as well as delivering consultant advice on Health and Safety.

I was the given the opportunity to develop an adult education programme and established an adult education facility in the community. I wrote, developed and delivered the programme and as a qualified assessor I was responsible for assessment of students in the workplace. I have also worked with Colleges of Further Education to deliver both early years and professional development qualifications at level 4.

After graduating with an Early Childhood Studies degree and Qualified Teacher Status my initial employment was in a reception class. I then worked in a junior school teaching both year 4 and year 6. As a member of the senior leadership team I was responsible for line managment of teaching assistants and play workers, Health and Safety and mathematics coordinator.

This was followed by headship in a primary school.

International experience

Ankara Turkey 1988

Established a playgroup for international children


Kenya Africa 1991

Worked alongside the World Education Service to write and deliver the National Curriculum at Key stage 1

Established a nursery in an international school

Find out how to update your staff profile

Edit your staff profile