Dr Carla Solvason

Carla Solvason 2

Senior Lecturer

Institute of Education

Children and Families

Contact Details

email: c.solvason@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 855482

Dr Carla Solvason came to the University of Worcester in 2008 having previously worked as a primary teacher for twelve years, an advisor for a children’s communication charity and a writer/ researcher. During her time at the university, she has held a variety of roles, these include: partnerships lead across our Foundation Degrees in partner colleges, overseeing all validation and quality control requirements. She has acted as chair for the school of education ethics committee, overseeing all ethical applications from research students and colleagues. She has held the roles of research and knowledge exchange and quality representative for her department and for several years she has led on the Early Childhood Masters pathway.

Carla has led on a wide range of modules, including parent partnership, language development, study skills, and special educational needs. Over recent years her teaching has increasingly focused upon preparing students to carry out ethical practitioner research, she remodelled the level 5 module for this and transformed her department’s approach to student research. She also has an interest in leadership, particularly after working with a group of primary school leaders and Nursery school leaders on two separate, funded, longitudinal projects. This underpins the final year module that she teaches, which aims to prepare final year students for the professional responsibilities of leadership in practice. Additionally, utilising the skills developed whilst working for the charity I CAN, Carla delivers CPD in supporting children with speech and language difficulties.

Carla is an active researcher and has published widely over the past ten years, particularly in the areas of ethical practitioner research and parent partnership. She has carried out longitudinal, funded studies on supporting language development in primary schools, the role of collaborative leadership clusters in primary schools, and the impact of Maintained Nursery Schools. She is currently developing research within the areas of: supporting the parents of children with SEND, a longitudinal research into the impact of a local authority disability service, and much needed research into the health, well-being and self-perception of Early Childhood practitioners. She is also busily working on three current book contracts, these include the topics of: partnerships with parents, the unrecognised skills of the Early Childhood practitioner and the role of ethics in education. She is currently director of studies for three PhD students.


  •  2011 University of Worcester: PGCert: Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
  • 2009 Coventry University in collaboration with University of Worcester: PhD in Education
  • 1998 University of Warwick MA Gender, Literature and Modernity
  • 1994 University of Warwick BA (QTS) KS2
  • HEA Senior Fellow


  • Ethical Practitioner Research
  • Educational partnerships
  • Early Years Professionalism
  • Leadership
  • Supporting children’s language and communication development


  • Collaborative research
  • Ethical research
  • Practitioner research
  • Effective partnerships between educators and parents
  • The responsibilities of the Early Childhood Practitioner
  • The skills set of the Early Childhood Practitioner
  • The unrecognised status of the Early Childhood Practitioner
  • Ethical professionalism


Recent Presentations

2021 (Oct) University Centre Weston Invited guest lecture on ethical approaches to research.

2021 (Sept) University of Chichester Invited Keynote on Overcoming Prejudice when working with Parents.

2021 (Feb) The Learning Institute FdA Conference (online) Invited keynote presentation on ethical research and workshop on Early Childhood Professionalism.

2021 (Feb) BECERA (online) The ‘emotion work’ of EY leadership

2021 (Jan) ECSDN (online) Invited keynote presentation on research, ethics and dissemination

2020(June) TACTYC (online) Invited keynote presentation on MNS research

2020 (March) FDL Learning Support (Worcester) Invited to present on ethical research

2019 (July) Child Poverty in Educational Contexts (Uni of Sussex) Presentation/ workshop: Keeping the children and the community in mind

2019 (June) TACTYC (Birmingham) Invited Paper on findings of MNS research ‘Finding ways to survive.’

2018 (August) EECERA (Budapest) Paper and chair of self-organised symposium

2018 (March) Early Years Research Conference (Sussex) Invited keynote: Holding your knowledge ‘lightly’; Ethical Research and the role of the researcher/ practitioner

Recent Publications

Solvason, C., & Watson, N. (2021). Insights into Positive Approaches to Parent Partnership Working in UK Nursery Schools. Journal of Social Psychology Research, 1(1), 18-30. Retrieved from https://ojs.wiserpub.com/index.php/JSPR/article/view/987

Solvason, C. and Winwood, J. (2022) Exploring drivers and barriers: working in multi-professional teams to support children and families, School and Community Journal, accepted 17.08.21

Carla Solvason, Geoffrey Elliott & Harriet Cunliffe (2021) Preparing university students for the moral responsibility of early years education, Journal of Education for Teaching, DOI: 10.1080/02607476.2021.1989982

Solvason, C. and Proctor, S. (2021) ‘You have to find the right words to be honest’: nurturing relationships between teachers and parents of children with Special Educational Needs. Support for Learning, 36(3), pp.470-485.

Solvason, Stephenson, France and Sheenan, Developing Effective Professional Learning Communities for Senior Leaders, On Leadership: An Interdisciplinary Approach, (Due publication summer 2021).

Solvason, C. Bailey, E. and Davis, E. (2021) Supportive Leadership in Schools, Elephant Times (6) https://indd.adobe.com/view/b2f8b0e8-2efe-47f1-bb73-9ba0a56f4aeb

Cliffe, J. and Solvason, C. (2021), The Messines of Ethics in Education, Journal of Academic Ethics, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-021-09402-8

Solvason, C. (2021) Leaders Need Support, Too.

Solvason, C., Hodgkins, A. & Watson, N. (2021). Preparing students for the ‘emotion work’ of early years practice. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 23(1), pp. 14 – 23.

Early Years TV podcast on supporting children’s speech and language development: Early Years Summit 2020.

Sage Masterclass podcast on ethics in early childhood research: https://masterclass.sagepub.com/

Solvason, C., Webb, R. and Sutton-Tsang, S. (2020) What is left…?: The Implications of Losing Maintained Nursery Schools for Vulnerable Children and Families in England, Children and Society, https://authorservices.wiley.com/api/pdf/fullArticle/16752045

Cliffe, J. & Solvason, C. The role of emotions in building new knowledge and developing young children’s understanding. Power and Education. 2020;12(2):189-203. doi:10.1177/1757743820930724

Solvason, C. and Kington, A. (2020) How subject leader collaborations across schools can act as a source of personal and curriculum development, Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue, Volume 22, Numbers 1 & 2, 2020 https://www.infoagepub.com/products/Curriculum-and-Teaching-Dialogue-Vol-22

Solvason, C. and Kington, A. (2019), "Collaborations: providing emotional support to senior leaders", Journal of Professional Capital and Community, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPCC-05-2019-0010

Solvason, C., Webb, R. and Sutton-Tsang, S. (2020) Evidencing the effects of maintained nursery schools' roles in Early Years sector improvements. Available at https://tactyc.org.uk/research/

Solvason, C., Webb, R. and Sutton-Tsang, S. (2019) Occasional Paper 13- What role do maintained nursery schools play in Early Years sector improvements?

Solvason, C. (2020) ‘Building a positive community culture: the role leader collaborations across primary schools can play in developing community cohesion’ in Blackmore, K. and Kington, A., eds. Developing social and learning relationships in primary schools, London: Bloomsbury.

Cliffe, J. and Solvason C. (2019). Should we consider rhizomatic thinking when educating young minds? NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 22(1), pp. 86 – 100. Retrieved from https://www.childforum.com/research/2019-nz-international-early-childhood-education-journal/1758-rhizomatic-thinking.html

Solvason, C., Cliffe, J., and Bailey, E. (2019) Breaking the silence: Providing authentic opportunities for parents to be heard. Power and Education, 11 (2), pp.191-203. https://doi.org/10.1177/1757743819837659

Solvason, C. and Cliffe, J. (2019) But what if they don’t ask the right question? Problems of power and control in researching with children. TACTYC: Reflections, https://tactyc.org.uk/reflections/

Proctor, S. and Solvason, C. (2019): Supporting Parents to use Schema Theory to Understand and Manage Challenging Behaviour in the Home. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 22, (1) pp. 72 - 85

Bailey, E. and Solvason, C. (2019) Embedding parents’ perspectives in the discourse for quality education and care in the early years. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal. Volume 22, No.1, pp. 59 - 71

Solvason, C. (2019) ‘Conducting ethical professional inquiry alongside children’ in Policy Intersecting Pedagogy (Editors L Gibbs and M Gasper), London: Routledge.

Elliot, G., Kadi-Hanifi, K. and Solvason, C. (2018) Your Guide to Successful Postgraduate Study, London: Sage.

Solvason, C. (2018) ‘Just how important is ethics within early childhood research and professionalism.’ Journal of Early Childhood Education Research, 6 (2), pp 166-176, https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/6355/3/Solvason-issue6-2.pdf

Solvason, C., Cliffe, J. and Snowden, M. (2017) ‘Researching in School-Creating a Meaningful School/ University Alliance: A Reflection.’ Educational Action Research, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09650792.2017.1388828

External Roles

I regularly provide validation support for the Open University as a Process Panel Member.

I have provided peer reviewing of articles for the journals: Research in Post-Compulsory Education, Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Universal Journal of Educational Research, Educational Action Research, Educational Administration Management and Leadership, Children and Society and Power and Education.

I am also on the editorial board for New Zealand International Research in Early Childhood Education and Norland Educare Research Journal.

Committee Member - Research and Knowledge Exchange sub-committee for the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network