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Hayley Staniforth-Room

Managing Director, Dandelion Education

Hayley Room and Emma Harwood are co-founders of Dandelion Education Ltd, a multi-award wining, outstanding setting, awarded Nursery Of The Year 2017.

Dandelion is a values-led, ethos driven, unique business, with resolute beliefs. With over 35 years of collective teaching experience, Emma and Hayley have developed sound pedagogy which holds child-centred learning, and holistic child-development, at its heart.

Disillusioned by the test-driven schooling system , and its focus on product over process, they witnessed the erosion of autonomy within schools, and an increasing neglect of emotional and mental well-being, of both children and colleagues. They observed a decrease in independent skills, of problem solving skills, and of creative and critical thinking skills; over-testing and the escalating focus on literacy and numeracy outcomes, was failing to acknowledge and validate skills that are within EVERY child.

Emma and Hayley believe that each child has unique potential. Although with differing primary passions, Hayley’s first love being with Philosophy For Children, and, Emma’s with Forest School, they found a shared passion for holistic education, and they shared a dream; a dream of a truly child-led education system in which EVERY child is free to play, explore, imagine, and learn; in which EVERY child is able to reach their potential; a dream that nurtures creative and critical thinking; a dream that empowers small children, with giant voices – emotionally literate voices, with which they can be heard.