Dr Anita Soni D Ed Psych, M Sc, MA Ed
Anita works as an Early Years trainer and consultant (through Early Years Solutions Ltd) in the West Midlands. She is commissioned to run courses by Birmingham and Worcestershire Local Authorities focused around curriculum, learning and development in the EYFS.
She also works in a number of primary schools, Children’s Centres and nurseries as an Educational Psychologist supporting children, staff and families through assessment, observation, discussion and training.
Anita Soni qualified with a BA (Hons) in History and Social policy and immediately trained as a teacher with a specialism in early years at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. After teaching in Sunderland for 3 years, Anita moved to Birmingham, and taught at three primary schools before applying to become an Educational Psychologist (EP) on the current Masters in Educational Psychology programme.
After qualifying as an EP, Anita worked within the Educational Psychology Service in Worcestershire Children’s Services, continuing to have an interest in work with children aged 0-5. In 2008 Anita became a Senior EP and worked for the Early Years Childcare Service, and Extended Services to Schools and Children’s Centres. She supervised trainee EPs on placement in Worcestershire, and took on a role as a Core Tutor for Year 1 students, before joining the Academic and Professional Tutor Team in 2010.
Anita has particular interests in the use of group supervision, developing children’s PSED and the Key Person approach. She takes a child-centred and strengths based approach to her work.
Most important, she loves working with young children, their families and practitioners!
Founder – Early Years Solutions
Who Am I?
- An Educational Psychologist who specialises in early years
- A qualified teacher (PGCE Primary specialism in early years)
- A provider of training to teachers, early years practitioners, teaching assistants and parents
- A tutor for several universities on a range of early years, SEN and EP courses
- A published author.
Areas of Interest / Specialism
- Group supervision
- Personal, social and emotional development (PSED)
- The Key Person approach
- Observation, assessment and planning
- Self-evaluation of early years’ provision
- Project management
Academic and Professional Tutor – School of Education
University of Birmingham
Anita is interested in working with children and their families in their early years of life, between birth and 7 years. She is enthusiastic about developing the skills of the Children’s Workforce, especially those working in Children’s Centres, and early childhood/years provision in the maintained, voluntary and independent sectors. This includes teachers, managers, teaching assistants, Family Support Workers, early years practitioners and childminders.
She has used a range of approaches to enable this including training, group supervision and consultation. Anita’s particular interests are early childhood, Children’s Centres, the Key Person approach, personal, social and emotional development and supervision, video interactive guidance (VIG) and video enhanced reflective practice (VERP).
- Professional Doctorate in Educational Psychology, University of Birmingham, 2010
- Member of British Psychological Society (BPS) and Health Professional Council (HPC)
- MSc in Educational Psychology, University of Birmingham, 2002
- BSc in Psychology, Open University, 2000
- MA in Education, University of Central England, 1999
- PGCE, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, 1991
- BA in History and Social Policy, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, 1990
Other Activities / Associations
- Member of the Executive for TACTYC – Association for the Professional Development of Early Years Educators
- Chair for Friends of Signpost Inclusion
Areas of Specialism / Interest
- Self-evaluation of Early Years’ Provision
- The Key Person Approach
- Observation, Assessment and Planning
- Group Supervision
- Project Management
Who I work with
- Early Years settings – Childminders, Pre-Schools, Playgroups, Day Nurseries
- Foundation Stage units, Nursery Schools, Enhanced Nursery Provisions providing for children with significant SEN
- Schools (Primary and Secondary)
- Children’s Centres
- Local Authorities
McLinden, M., Lynch, P., Soni, A. et al. IJEC (2018). Supporting Children with Disabilities in Low- and Middle- Income Countries: Promoting Inclusive Practice within Community-Based Childcare Centres in Malawi through a Bioecological Systems Perspective. International Journal of Early Childhood, pp 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13158-018-0223-y
Soni, A. (2018) ‘Opportunities for development: the practice of supervision in early years provision,’ International Journal of Early Years, 26 (2),
Hawkins, D. & Soni, A. (2018) ‘Listening to children: Models of participation,’ DECP Debate, 166, 36-41
Pitt, S. & Soni, A. (2017) ‘Students’ experiences of academic success with dyslexia: A call for alternative intervention’ Support for Learning, 32 (4)
Messeter, T. & Soni, A. (2017) A systematic literature review of the ‘managed move’ process as an alternative to exclusion in UK schools, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 22 (4), pp.1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/13632752.2017.1383676
Taylor. L. & Soni, A. (2017) Preventing Radicalisation: a Systematic Review of Literature considering the lived experiences of the UK’s Prevent Strategy in Educational Settings, Pastoral Care in Education, 35 (4), pp. 241-252 https://doi.org/10.1080/02643944.2017.1358296
Soni, A. (2017) ‘Inclusion and well-being’ in Moyles, J., Payler, P. & Georgeson, J. (eds) Beginning Teaching, Beginning Learning In Early Years and Primary Education (5th ed), Maidenhead: Open University Press
Soni, A. (2017) ‘Vulnerability, risk and resilience,’ in Georgeson, J. & Barr-Campbell, V. (eds) Places for 2 year olds in the Early Years: Supporting Learning and Development, Oxford: Routledge
Aucott, C. & Soni, A. (2016) Reflections on the use of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing in schools, Educational Psychology in Practice, 32 (1), pp.85-99 https://doi.org/10.1080/02667363.2015.1112257
Soni, A. (2015) A case study on the use of group supervision with Learning mentors, Educational and Child Psychology 32 (3)
Soni, A. (2014) ‘Personal, social and emotional development (PSED)’ in Moyles, J., Payler, J. & J. Georgeson (eds) Early Years Foundations: An invitation to critical reflection, Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw Hill
Soni, A. (2013) English as an Additional Language (EAL) in the Early Years London: Featherstone Education/Bloomsbury Publishing
Soni, A. (2013) ‘Personal, social and emotional development (PSED)’ in Beckley, P. (ed) The Early Years Foundation Stage: Challenges and reflections Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw Hill
Soni, A. and Bristow, S (2013) The EYFS: How do I know I am doing it right? 2nd edition Bloomsburys.
Soni, A. (2013) Group supervision: supporting practitioners in their work with children and families in Children’s Centres, Early Years Journal, Routledge/Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.1080/09575146.2013.777695
Soni, A. and Bristow, S. (2012) The Key Person Approach – How to Support Effective Practice in your setting. Published by Bloomsbury
Soni, A. (2012) ‘Promoting emotional well being or mental health’. In Papatheodorou, T. (ed) Debates on Early Childhood Policies and Practices, Routledge.
Soni, A. (2011) ‘Multi-Agency Working’. In Beckley P (ed) Learning in Early Childhood: A Whole Child Approach from Birth to 8 Sage Publications.
Soni, A. (2011) ‘Early Years’. In Yeomans, J. and Arnold, C (eds) Psychology for Teaching Assistants, Trentham Books.
Soni, A. and Bristow, S (2010) The EYFS: How do I know I am doing it right? Published by AC Blacks