UCEN Manchester Lecturer supports Government with a series of Childcare publications

Portrait image of Karen Cooke

A programme leader at UCEN Manchester is set to contribute to a new Government paper on girls’ participation in sport.

It’s the seventh paper that Karen Cooke has worked on with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Childcare. Her work with the APPG started during her Masters degree in Education, which she completed on a part-time basis over two years while teaching Childcare at UCEN Manchester. 

“While undertaking research for my Masters, I read a lot of publications from the APPG,” Karen explained. “The work they did intrigued me so much that I got in contact about supporting the group with future papers.”

Now Karen, who’s the Programme Leader for UCEN Manchester’s Childhood and Youth Studies courses, has worked alongside organisations like Water Babies and fellow academics from higher education providers including Loughborough University, Sheffield Hallam University and Liverpool John Moores University, while contributing to six papers published by the APPG.

As well as currently studying for a Doctorate in Education with The Open University, Karen has just started working on her seventh paper for the APPG for Childcare, which is looking at girls’ participation in sport, particularly how participation decreases as school-aged girls get older.

Karen added: “When working on a publication, my fellow academics and I are each assigned sections that we’re responsible for.

I take all my learnings from the publications and working groups and apply them to my teaching, and all of my students also have access to the publications I’ve worked on.

Alongside her work with the APPG, Karen is involved in two working groups organised by The Children’s Alliance - ‘Early Years Childrens Alliance’ and ‘Physical Activity Childrens Alliance’ - that drive the conversation around important topics in the sector.

Karen’s involvement in these working groups has led to her presenting at conferences organised by the alliance, as well as speaking to Parliament on the impact of falling levels of physical activity. Furthermore, she has just booked her place at the next conference, the theme for which is ‘The Voice for Children’.

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