Supporting Early Years leaders to develop through digital professional learning

In the Nuffield-funded project, Dr Mona Sakr and colleagues are investigating what we know about professional learning for Early Years leaders and how we can use digital technologies to advance and improve what’s available. The project has just published results from the first strand of the research – a systematic review of global research on leadership development and digitally mediated professional learning in Early Years Education. 

Key findings from the review are: 

• Digitally Mediated Professional Learning (DMPL) can be used to improve access to leadership development in EY, but its effective use depends on careful design including: 

o Multiple delivery modes 

o Opportunities for dialogue and connection 

o Authentic reflection experiences 

• Research suggests that DMPL without these elements can impact negatively on motivation among EY staff. 

• DMPL for leadership development must meet the practical requirements and constraints of EY educators and their day to day work, which research shows to be sector-specific. This means supporting EY educators through learning technologies that integrate well into their everyday teaching environments and are easy to learn. Support is essential to enable a positive and useful experience.

Read the report in full here: Systematic Review (

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