Skip to content

Janet Harvell

Senior Lecturer in Centre for Children & Families , Institute of Education and Course Leader - FdA Early Years Flexible and Distributed Learning

Institute of Education

Contact Details


tel: 01905 542626

Janet is married to Tony, a retired head of a primary school, as well as being a mother to three wonderful children Melanie, Holly and Ross who seem to have survived despite having two parents who work in education!

Having originally trained as a junior/secondary teacher Janet became interested in the early years when she became involved in the local preschool setting as a parent, volunteer helper and committee member. This then led to becoming an Associate Manager of a 44-place day nursery. During this time Janet became an assessor and verifier for NVQs in Early Years and also worked as freelance Ofsted Early Years Inspector. In 2000 she was lucky enough to become involved in one of the first Sure Start trailblazer initiatives, and set up the first accredited Childminding Network in the county before working at an FE college for 11 years where she was a Quality Reviewer and Advanced Practitioner. In addition she was the Programme Manager, lecturer and personal tutor on the HND in Early Years, the FdA in Early Years (Sector Endorsed) and the BA (Hons) Early Years Care and Education. During this time she became very involved in supporting the delivery of the EYPS programme and the emergence of a graduate-led early years workforce. This is something she is passionate about, gaining immense pleasure at seeing the transformation this has made to the lives of students and the children they work with. She was also Project Manager of a Teaching Centre attached to the college, modelled on the Penn Green Centre, and supporting collaborative practice across a cluster of early years settings. As a registered Nursery Inspector until 2015, Janet was able to use this facet to guide and inform practice within early years settings and provide a different perspective for students on early years courses.

Having lived, studied and worked abroad (Zambia, Malawi, Hong Kong, USA and Saudi Arabia) Janet has also developed a passion for gaining a greater awareness and understanding of the impact that different societies and cultures have on children and families. This is reflected in her specialist teaching areas which include: Current Curriculum Issues in the Early Years, International EY Curricula, Professional/Reflective Practice and Social Policy & Legislation. As a result, in 2009 and 2010 she was awarded two grants to further research into preschool provision in China which she was lucky enough to visit on five separate occasions and led to her Master’s dissertation title ‘The same .. or different? A comparative study of preschool provision in England and China'. A commitment to the value of experiential learning resulted in her planning and leading an early years residential for students to Beijing in 2012 and the inclusion of an optional ‘International Early Years’ module to give students an opportunity to undertake an international work placement.


Fellowship Higher Education Academy (FHEA) (2015)
PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE (Distinction) (2015)
Certificate Team Leader (2015)
MA in Education: Early Years, Plymouth University (September 2013): ‘The same … or different? A comparative study of preschool provision in England and China.’
Postgraduate Diploma: Education (Plymouth)
PGC CPD Early Years (Exeter)
BSc (Open)
City & Guilds 7307 – Further and Adult Education Teacher’s Certificate
Assessor/Internal Verifier Awards D32,D33,D34
Diploma in Preschool Practice
Teacher’s Certificate in Education – Junior/Secondary

Teaching & Research

Teaching & Research

Teaching Interests

Current Curriculum Issues in the Early Years
International EY Curricula
Social Policy and Legislation
Professional/Reflective Practice
On-line teaching and learning


International Early Years Education
Student Transitions within HE
Supporting effective online learning

Professional Bodies

Professional Bodies

Fellow of Higher Education Academy
Member of TACTYC (Association for the Professional Development of Early Years Educators)
Member Sector Endorsed Foundation Degree in Early Years – Midlands Region




Recent Publications

Xu, Q & Harvell, J (accepted 2015), Childcare, In: The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology 2nd Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, London.

Book Chapters

Harvell, J. and McMahon, S. (2016) Observation. In Trodd, L. (ed) The Early Years Handbook for Practitioners and Students: An essential guide for the foundation degree and Levels 4 and 5’. Abingdon, Routledge

Unit 10 ‘Caring for [Looked After] Children and Young People in BTEC Nationals Health and Social Care: Student Book 3 (May 2008).

In production

Chapter: Harvell, J. and Hodgkins, A. (TBC) Preparing for University and making effective use of induction. In: Savin-Baden, M., Musgrave, J. and Stobbs, N. (eds) Studying for Your Early Years Degree: skills and knowledge for becoming an effective practitioner. London: Critical Publishing.

Chapter: Harvell, J. (TBC) Referencing and critical reading. In: Savin-Baden, M., Musgrave, J. and Stobbs, N. (eds) Studying for Your Early Years Degree: skills and knowledge for becoming an effective practitioner. London: Critical Publishing.

Chapter: Stobbs, N., Harvell, J. and Williams, J. (TBC) Developing Pedagogical Documentation within the EYFS curriculum framework (Draft Title). London: Sage.

Book Reviews

Routledge Publications
Sage Publications

Recent Presentations

2015 Children and Childhoods International Conference, University of Suffolk. ‘Identity and Culture: A personal reflection on childhood in China.

2014 EECERA International Conference (Crete) ‘The same … but different. A comparative study of kindergarten policy and practices in China and England’ (Individual Paper Presentation).

Summer Conference – Student reflections on the value of international residential to China, Bridgwater College (August 2012)

Summer Conference – Workshop: Excellent Teaching and Learning, Bridgwater College (August 2011)

UPC Summer Conference – Pedagogies for a brave new world - Poster Presentation on research activity in China (June 2011)

UPC Summer Conference – Poster Presentation on CPD activity in China (June 2010)

National conference: ‘Healthy Childhoods’ : Workshop on ‘Developing the Outside Environment’. Bridgwater College (2009)

UPC Winter Conference - Presentation: The practitioner’s perspective of undergoing the Developmental Engagement phase of the new IQER process (November 2008)

Learning Technologies and Web Masters Forum, Taunton School – Presentation: The value of ‘Blogging’ (March 2008)

QIA/ALT e-learning conference, Nottingham, ‘Making it Work’ -Collaborative workshop ‘ILT for the nervous: how an Early Years section made the journey from the ‘slate’ to the virtual learning environment’ (October 2007)

External Responsibilities

External Responsibilities

(2016) External Panel Member for Norland College: Periodic Review and Revalidation, and Delivery Approval, of BA (Hons) Early Years Development and Learning
(2015 – to date) External Examiner for City College, Norwich: BA (Hons) Childhood Studies
(2015) External Reviewer Middlesex University: BA Early Childhood Studies and the BA Early Childhood Studies with EYTS.
(2012 - 2013) External Examiner for University of Gloucester: FdA in Early Years programme
(2010 – 2011) Reflective learning collaborative project: University of Plymouth Colleges
(2010) Consultation on approval of L4 Module – Integrated Child Protection: Bath Spa University
(2010) Lead role in achieving Local Authority award for Innovations and Research Award
External Examiner: the BA (Hons) Childhood Studies City College Norwich

Professional Experience

Registered Early Years Inspector
Advanced Practitioner and Quality Reviewer
Programme Manager HND/FdA EY – Sector Endorsed
Programme Manager BA (Hons) Early Years Care and Education
Project Manager – Local Authority Early Years Teaching Centre
Childminding Network Co-ordinator
Associate Manager Day Nursery
Preschool Supervisor