Research Staff Interests

Dr Martin  Needham


Martin Needham trained and worked as an Early Years and Primary teacher in Nottinghamshire, London and Pakistan. This was followed by developmental roles in education management and leadership in Pakistan and then with early education, extended schools services and children's centre provision in England. Martin became a Senior Lecturer in 2003 and a Principle Lecturer at MMU in 2014 as Academic Division Leader for Education, Professional and Community Studies. Martin has published work on multi-agency working, young children's learning and leadership in early years conducting research projects in these areas funded by the DFE and NHS Scotland.

Research Interests

Martin has conducted research into leadership in early years services (Siraj-Blatchford et al., 2007) and leadership in early education (Hadfield et al 2012). His PhD investigated the nature of learning relations between parent practitioners and children (Needham, 2011, Jackson and Needham, 2014). He is currently involved in research into parents' responses to play guidance provided by NHS Scotland.


Co-authored Books

Needham, M. and Jackson, D. (Forthcoming) Supporting Parents in Early Years Settings. London: Sage

Hadfield, M., Jopling, M., Needham, M. and Waller, T. (Forthcoming) Leading Practice in the Early Years. Maidenhead; Open University Press.

Edited Books

Siraj-Blatchford, I., Clarke, K. and Needham, M. (2007) The Team Around the Child: Multi-agency working in the early years. Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham

Refereed Journal Articles

Needham, M. and Jackson, D. (June 2012) Stay and play or play and chat; comparing roles and purposes in case studies of English and Australian supported playgroups. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal

Book Chapters

Needham, M. and Jackson, D. (2014) Parental involvement and partnership with parents;"T'ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It)"in Reed, M and Walker, R (2014) Early Childhood Studies a Critical Companion London: Sage

Using activity theory to examine the factors shaping the learning partnerships in a parent and child ‘stay and play’ session. In The Power of Ideas in the Early Years Waller, Whitmarsh and Clarke (2011)

Research Reports

Hadfield, M., Jopling, M., Needham, M., Waller, T.(2012) The final report of the Longitudinal Study of Early Years Professional Status London: DfE

Keynote Addresses or Prestigious Public Lectures

New Early Years Leaders, DFE, London 2012

Practitioner conference on EYPS Sunderland University, 2011

Oxford Brookes University Seminar Series, 2009 Reflecting on parent-child learning partnerships

The interaction conference. Institute of Education, London University, 2006

International Recognition

Member of the team which produced the Longitudinal study of Early Years Professional Status published by the DFE (2012) and cited in the Nutbrown Review (2013)

Siraj- Blatchford, Clarke and Needham (2007) is a key text on many courses in the UK and cited internationally in policy on multi-agency provision.

A member of the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Early Childhood Education

A member of the scientific committee for the 2010 European Early Childhood Education Association Conference in Birmingham

A member of the group that produced the QAA Benchmark Statement for Early Childhood Studies (2007)

Conference Papers

Exploring practice Leadership among Early Years Professionals: EECERA Conference 28th August 2013, Tallinn

Leading change for children under three. EECERA Conference 30th August 2012, Oporto

Early years professionals leading quality: Case studies of practice. EECERA Conference 31th August 2012, Oporto

First National Survey of Early Years Professionals. EECERA conference September 2011 Geneva

Early years professionals' perceptions of their roles and impact in improving practice: BECERA Feb 2012 Birmingham

Down to the basics in learning interactions: A case study of context shaping children's learning in a parent and toddler group. EECERA Conference 7th September 2010 Birmingham

Stay and play or play and chat; comparing roles and purposes in case studies of English and Australian supported playgroups. EECERA Conference 28th August 2009 Strasbourg

Reflections on the status of parent-child learning partnerships represented in a study of Parent and Toddler Groups in the English West Midlands EECERA Conference 3rd September 2008 Stavanger

Teaching Interests

Martin's main teaching interests and commitments are in the childhood studies field and in research methodology.

Taught Courses

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

Areas of Post-graduate Supervision

Early education and parental involvement


Position/Post: Academic Division Leader: Education, Professional and Community Studies
Tel: 0161-247-2100
Location: Brooks and Crewe