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Press release

Five local areas named as participants in year-long academy to radically rethink local early years services


4 Apr 2019


The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) has announced the five local areas that will participate in the Early Years Transformation Academy in 2019/20.

The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) has announced the five local areas that will participate in the Early Years Transformation Academy in 2019/20. The Early Years Transformation Academy (EYTA) is a new, intensive learning programme for local areas who want to use evidence to transform their maternity and early years services.

Donna Molloy, Director of Policy and Practice at the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF), said:

“The Academy is ultimately about supporting local areas to apply the evidence to their early years systems and services. The early years are a crucial time for children’s development, when evidence-based early intervention can make a big difference. But we know that finding time to consider the evidence, while also continuing to deliver services, can be difficult. EIF is committed to developing effective ways of supporting those locally to use the evidence. The Academy is designed to bring local partners together, with time and space to understand the evidence on what works to improve outcomes for children, explore new approaches and consolidate their existing provision.”

The five participating areas in 2019/20 were chosen through a competitive process, from 18 areas across England who initially expressed interest in the programme. The participating areas are:

  • Barking & Dagenham, London
  • Dudley, West Midlands
  • Norfolk, East of England
  • Sandwell, West Midlands
  • Westminster / Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, London

Ben Lewing, Assistant Director of Policy and Practice at EIF, said:

“The Academy is for local areas that really want to prioritise system transformation across their maternity and early years services. It is fantastic to have such engaged, innovative and ready-to-go areas involved. We expect that the Academy will be intensive and demanding for the individuals and organisations taking part, and it requires a sustained commitment – all while dealing with the many pressures we know exist in local services today. We've selected partners we think are well suited to the Academy, from a long-list of excellent candidates, and look forward to a year of learning, sharing experiences, and testing the limits of what local planning around intervention in the early years can achieve.

“To us, the Academy is all about bringing the right people together at a local level to build a shared vision of what maternity and early years services should be like in the future, using evidence and local intelligence to put together a local plan. We can be an independent guide, providing support and challenge as they go. But they will decide what is appropriate in each of their areas, and how to put the evidence into practice – and together we will learn more about how local systems work and what kind of support makes the difference.”

The EYTA is led by EIF with academy partners The Staff College, Born in Bradford and Better Start Bradford.

Over 12 months, the Academy will involve a combination of online learning, face-to-face design workshops and practical application in participating areas, with support from EIF, academy partners and other Academy participants. The four major areas of learning and development focus on preparing for change, identifying vulnerable populations, system planning and measuring impact.

The 12-month EYTA begins at the end of April with senior representatives from the five participating areas and the academy partners meeting in London.



  • The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) is an independent charity that champions and supports the use of effective early intervention to improve the lives of children and young people at risk of experiencing negative outcomes. For more information, see:
  • The EIF report Realising the potential of early intervention outlines the key barriers to be overcome and changes to be made at national and local level, to ensure effective early intervention is available for the children and families who need it most. Available at:

About the contributor

Ben Lewing

Ben is assistant director, policy & practice, at EIF.