Royal honour for Masters student

James Hempsall, who this term began an MA in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy in our Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning, has been awarded an OBE in recognition of his services to childcare in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and was recently presented with his honour by Her Majesty the Queen.

The honour marks James’ 25 years as an early years and childcare trainer, researcher and consultant.  Over the past four years he has led the Department for Education’s national support programme for the implementation of 15 hours a week of free early learning for up to 250,000 least advantaged two year olds (Achieving Two Year Olds - A2YO). Since 1999 he has been the director of Hempsall’s, leading a team of up to 30.  And this year he became managing editor of Children’s Centre Leader, a quarterly journal for everyone leading children’s centre, early help and linked services.

James says:“My work is all about fairness.  We have worked hard at Hempsall’s to support all children’s social and emotional development, and their economic well-being, so they can have the best start in life.  We have particularly focused on those that are least advantaged so they can be more equal with their peers and escape the economic traps they may find themselves in.”

He adds: “Rarely, if ever, does anyone receive such an honour without the privilege of working with amazing colleagues and partners.  And I am no exception. And I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way from when I first started work, through to our recent project for two year olds.”