Cathy Gunning

Cathy Gunning

Early Education Associate

Cathy has spent over 30 years working in education. She has experience across a range of sectors, particularly primary and early years. She is a trained primary teacher, with a Masters’ degree in early education with care (birth to five). She was a headteacher for 11 years where she led the merger of a split site nursery school into a new build children’s centre, nursery school, and integrated all year-round daycare provision. She has led and taught through over 10 Ofsted inspections under the different frameworks. Cathy was Early Education’s Pedagogic Lead for 4 years, developing the pedagogic pages, ‘Pedpod’ podcasts, teaching news, and blogs for professional development. Following her most recent role as an early years lead and specialist leader in education, she now works freelance as an adviser, consultant, and professional partner, bringing her lived experiences and passion for high quality early years into her work in education and care. She brings a unique coaching and mentoring approach and ‘thinking room’ (based on Kline’s Thinking Environment) with groups, teams, and individuals to grow confidence and inspire practice. Cathy is a lifelong learner, most recently achieving a postgraduate Level 7 qualification in coaching and mentoring in education. She loves to work with professionals to make a positive impact on the quality of pedagogy, play, and learning for children. She has a particular passion in supporting vulnerable children, including children in care or who have been previously in care, so that their life stories and needs can be understood with a trauma-informed and attachment-aware lens, enabling them to thrive in their learning and health for life.

Areas of expertise​

  • Leadership

  • Coaching and mentoring

  • Supporting vulnerable children

  • Trauma-informed and attachment-aware pedagogy

Sample courses to come.

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