Sarah Ratcliffe | Nottingham Trent University
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Sarah Emery

Sarah Ratcliffe

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham Institute of Education/School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Undergraduate and Professional Education


Sarah Ratcliffe is currently the Course Leader and Year 1 Leader for the suite of Childhood Degrees at NTU. These include:

BA (Hons) Childhood: Learning and Development

BA (Hons) Childhood (Psychology)

BA (Hons) Childhood (Special Educational Needs and Inclusion)

Sarah leads on a number of second year modules, including, Global Childhoods (Placement Module) and Supporting Transitions in Learning and Development. Sarah also teaches on Professional and Academic Skills (L4),  Becoming a Researcher (L5), Children's Mental Health and Well-being (L6) and supervises a number of third year students on their final dissertation projects, as well as supporting students across all years in her capacity as a personal tutor.

Since starting at the University, Sarah has completed the Post Graduate Certificate of Academic Practice (PGCAP). She also achieved associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in May 2019 and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in May 2021.

Career overview

Prior to joining NTU in September 2017, Sarah worked in the field of early years in various roles including Nursery Room Leader, Nanny and Montessori Teacher.

Alongside her work in the early years, Sarah also completed an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Studies and an MA in Education at the University of Derby. She then went on to study a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) at Sheffield Hallam University.

After completing her PGCE, Sarah worked in a Further Education College for a number of years teaching CACHE Courses and BTEC Children’s Play, Learning and Development at levels 2 and 3. She also had overall course leader responsibility for the level 2 provision. Sarah also taught some Higher Education courses within the college, delivering on the Foundation Degree in Children’s and Young People’s Services (CYPS) and Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND).

Research areas

Sarah is an early career researcher. Her academic and research interests include:

  • Alternative education such as the Montessori approach.
  • International perspectives, particularly teaching and learning in Scandinavian countries.
  • How children are listened to through the Mosaic Approach (Clark and Moss 2001, 2011, 2017).
  • Mental health services and support for Children and Young People. Sarah currently sits on the School of Social Sciences Well-being Committee as an advocate for the mental health and well-being of staff and students at NTU. She is also a school mental health champion.
  • Sarah's latest research (PGCAP module 3) was an action research project which explored how first year undergraduates are supported to develop their academic skills. In light of this, Sarah is looking to further understand the barriers for students in accessing support for academic skills within the university.

External activity

  • Member of the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network (ECSDN)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • Sarah is a School Governor at a Primary School in the West Midlands. Her specific role is overseeing Early Years Education provision within the school.
  • Member of the Society for Education and Training (SET)
  • Panel Member on the Technical Educational Advisory Board (TEAB) for the Northern Council for Further Education (NCFE). Sarah is currently advising on the new T-Level Qualifications in Childcare and Early Years.