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...having a good time in the Early Years
Sally Featherstone qualified as a teacher at Goldsmith’s College, University of
London. Her specialisms were primary teaching and drama in education.
She began her teaching career in primary schools in the London Boroughs of
Newham and Camden, then moved to head the infant department in a primary
school in Cambridgeshire. Sally’s next posts were in the City of Leicester, first
as head of infants in an inner-city primary, then as headteacher of a large infant
school and nursery.
The school of which Sally was head served an area of exceptional social and
economic deprivation. It became noted for its work with parents and in the
community, and received The Schools’ Curriculum Award for this.
In 1988 Sally took a post on the Leicestershire Primary Advisory Team, with the
responsibility of supporting 90 primary and infant schools in urban and rural
environments, with ethnically mixed catchments.
Featherstone Education became the market leader in books for teachers and educators of 0-6 year-olds. It won numerous awards for the
quality of its publications, and in 2007 won the Education Publisher of the Year award from the Independent Publisher’s Guild.
In 2008 Featherstone became an imprint of A&C Black, part of the Bloomsbury Group.
Sally has written and edited many books for Featherstone Education, and continues to be involved as a consultant and author for
Bloomsbury. For information Sally’s recent publications click
Sally’s particular interests are:
Sally became one of the first primary Ofsted Registered Inspectors. She resigned from this role in 1995 because of disquiet over the
direction school inspections were taking and with the way the criteria and methods applied by Ofsted conflicted with her own views of
In 1993 Sally left the Leicestershire LA to set up her own training and consultancy business. She nevertheless remains committed to local
authorities as an effective way of providing support across a range of schools. She has seen outstanding work in local authorities, and is
appalled at the way their capacity and effectiveness is being undermined by nationally driven moves to separate and isolate schools.
In 1997 Sally, with her husband and partner, Phill Featherstone, founded Featherstone Education to produce and publish books for those
working with young children. Meanwhile she continued with her extensive training programme.
Sally has written and trained extensively on these and other topics. Some of her books were written in collaboration with the late and
much missed Ros Bayley. She has also collaborated with Nicola Call, Lynn Broadbent and Phill Featherstone. You can find out more
about Sally’s books (and order them)
here or on the Bloomsbury website,
For nineteen years Sally trained extensively throughout the UK and overseas. In 2011 she decided to curtail these activities to
concentrate of her writing. She is passionate about supporting those who do the exceptionally difficult and rewarding job of working with
young children, and this website is intended as a small way of helping that.
Sally believes that despite government rhetoric to the contrary, the national focus of education has shifted away from the needs and
welfare of individual children. She is unable to see how deliberate policies of pressurising the teaching profession and fragmenting the
system can offer any benefits to children. She also completely opposes the blind drive of people who know very little about young
children towards an excessively formal curriculum and practice, and the application of inappropriate assessment. She hopes that this
website can, among other things, act as a meeting point for those who share her views.
Sally has many interests, and in addition to her writing particularly enjoys reading, photography, gardening, the visual arts and travel. In
2009 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Sally has two children and four grandchildren and lives with her husband in a Pennine farmhouse in West Yorkshire.
progression and continuity                                                   how children learn
motivating boys                                                                    role play
using the outdoor environment                                            brain development
the what, how, where and when of assessment                  language development of
child initiated learning                                                          play
 About Sally