Press Release

19 July 2011

Two Medway Christ Church students from the New Leaders in Early Years Programme have each received sponsorship of ?1000 to attend a world conference in Hong Kong this month.

Polly Bolshaw and Imo Otoro were chosen by the World Organisation of Early Childhood Education (OMEP) after they submitted presentations to a national committee.

The theme of the conference was ‘Meeting the Learning and Developmental Needs of Our Young Citizens’. The conference was organised by OMEP Hong Kong, the Department of Early Childhood Education (DECE) and the Centre for Childhood Research and Innovation of the Hong Kong institute of Education (HKIEd).

OMEP is one of the sponsors for the prestigious New Leaders in Early Years programme, which aims to attract high achieving graduates from any discipline into the early years workforce to improve the future of children and families.

While in Hong Kong, the two students acted as interns to the UK National Committee and attended the World Congress. Three of the New Leaders academic staff, Dr Catherine Meehan, Liz Hryniewicz and Dr Coleen Jackson presented papers at the conference.

Polly Bolshaw, from Wolverhampton, said: “Attending the OMEP conference in Hong Kong was a fantastic opportunity not only to meet other professionals in the early years sector but also to learn about aspects of practice from across the world and visit local kindergarten settings, which I hope will now positively impact on my own practice.

“I think the knowledge I have gained whilst attending presentations and symposia at the conference will help my Early Years MA studies, particularly with international aspects of early years practice and perspectives. The experience has made me more committed to making a difference to the lives of children and families, and I now feel even more passionate about the early years sector.”

Imo Otoro, from Edgware, said: “The OMEP World Conference has been an invaluable experience towards better understanding the learning and development needs of children from different parts of the world, further reinforcing my beliefs for the recognition of culture and diversity in the Early Years as being of utmost importance to ensure children’s fundamental needs are met and sustained.”

Liz Hryniewicz, the Programme Director for New Leaders in Early Years, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for future leaders in early years to be part of the international early years community and to hear about research and practice first hand.”

Canterbury Christ Church University is at present recruiting a second cohort for the New Leaders programme to start in September.

For more information, please visit: or contact the department on 01634 894425.


Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.

  • In 2010 the Faculty of Education received ‘outstanding’ grades in its Ofsted report for primary, secondary and post-compulsory programmes, together with its employment-based routes into teaching. The University’s primary provision has the unique record of having been awarded the highest Ofsted grades in all inspections since 1996.
  • 94 % of our recent graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating (2009/10 DLHE survey).
  • Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.
  • Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college.


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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:14:00