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Ashleigh Slavin

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Lecturer in Childhood Studies

I started working in the early childhood sector in 2000 and have professional experience working as a nursery nurse, team lead, and family support worker for children and their families with visual impairment, and as a self-employed childminder. I have also trained and worked as a teacher within a specialist provision working with, supporting, and teaching students with a range of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Academically, I completed my degree in BA (Hons) Childhood Studies and Care and Early Years Education in 2009. I completed a PGCE in Disability in Disabled Learning, MA Education, and I am currently studying towards a PhD in Education. I am also recognised and accredited with Advance HE as a Senior Fellow, The Society for Education and Training as a Qualified Teacher in Lifelong Learning and Skills, and The Association for Infant Mental Health as an Accredited Professional.

I have worked at the University of Sunderland for the Childhood Studies team since 2021 as an academic tutor and progressed to lecturer in 2022. I currently teach and supervise dissertations on BA (Hons) Childhood Studies and MA Childhood and Youth Studies.

I am currently deputy for the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies on BA (Hons) Childhood Studies, and Lead for the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies on MA Childhood and Youth Studies. Before this, I taught and led higher education courses across childhood, health, and society in a further education setting.

Throughout my career, I have been involved in various research projects with a focus on inclusive practice for children, young people, and adults. I am currently an Assessment Innovation and Improvement Champion for the Social Science team, working in collaboration to innovate and improve assessment practices in the University.

Teaching and supervision

I currently lead and teach the following modules:
  • CHS162
  • CHS382/385
  • CHS387
  • SSCM33/34/35

I supervise student dissertations on the following modules:
  • CHS350
  • SSCM39

Research interests for potential research students

My research interests for potential research students are early years development, inclusive practice, SEND, mental health and wellbeing, and assessment in higher education.


I am currently studying towards a PhD in Education, specifically looking into assessment within higher education.

Last updated 28 February 2024