East Africa Regional Coordinator
Sian has always enjoyed working with children and first gained a BA in Developmental Psychology with a focus on education. During Sian’s twenties she worked in a variety of nurseries, pre-schools, primary schools and directly with families in different capacities. Sian later gained her Early Years Professional Status in the first cohort of the post graduate course. Most of Sian’s work was in the private sector and towards the end of her twenties Sian decided to volunteer. This led her to Kenya where she volunteered and later managed a local Kenyan school for a British Charity. During these first five years in Kenya Sian watched the wonderful effects of Jolly Phonics in the local classrooms and started the first Jolly Phonics pilots in Kenya with support from Universal Learning Solutions.
Later she decided it was time to branch out and support more children and teachers and she founded her own educational consultancy, Education Matters East Africa, which focused on teachers’ on-going professional development. Sian’s work in Kenya has lead her to firmly believe that investing in teachers contributes to positive, sustainable change in education, more so than building schools. Sian believes that empowering teachers by giving them culturally relevant tools encourages improved classroom delivery, effective teaching and consequentially improved outcomes for children. Sian is also an experienced Jolly Phonics trainer and works tirelessly to drive change in the way the teaching of reading is approached in Kenya.
Sian has managed the 2019 roll-out of Jolly Phonics in her home county of Kilifi and is keeping busy with interest from other counties and wider support for projects across East Africa.