Iwan Eley from United Kingdom Preschool Best Teacher of the Year

A teacher at a South Derbyshire nursery school has been named the nation’s best male early years teacher. Iwan Eley, who teaches at The Old Forge in Findern, was hailed Teacher of the Year 2023 in the National Early Years Teacher Day Awards’ Men in the Early Years category.

Mr Eley is one of only four people to come out on top in a category, and his award is aimed at recognising how few men work in the early years teaching sector – less than 3 per cent.

Director of nursery operations Louise Monange said: “At the Old Forge Day Nursery, we are proud to say we are well above the national average with three male staff working across several age ranges from two-to-three-year-olds and Pre-School.

“We place high value on men’s experience and input in caring for and educating children, both within families and as professionals in education.

“Being able to offer the children at nursery the opportunity to be cared for by a diverse, mixed-gender early years workforce is invaluable.

“As a nursery we know that early year’s education role should capture the input and the talents of all and have actively sought to create a workforce that includes men, women, and people with other gendered or non-gendered identities.

“We view early years education as a critical period in a child’s life, one where we can address gender inequality and stereotypes, for the benefit of our children, our families, and the wider community.

“We are incredibly proud of Iwan. To be recognised in such a vital part of childcare is a credit to his passion in his role in our Pre-School.”

The Old Forge, situated on The Green, is set up in a 19th Century timber-framed building with a large outdoor area that includes a forest school picnic spots.

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May 15, 2023