We are absolutely delighted to announce that ACAMH President Professor Kathy Sylva OBE has been elected as Fellow of the British Academy. Recognising her lifelong commitment and contribution to scientific discovery through very carefully carried out studies in a wide range of areas on early education and development, this prestigious accolade awarded by the British Academy places Professor Sylva in an elite community of over 1,400 outstanding UK-based scholars.
Kathy Sylva, Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology at the University of Oxford, moved to England in 1975 upon earning her PhD, which focused on children’s play, from Harvard University. Since then, she has been engaged in a number of highly influential and significant research programmes on early childhood education and care, with her work having an immense impact on early years policy, providing politicians and policy makers with a clearer and more detailed picture of the issues that face early years education.
As well as marking her personal distinction at an international level, this honour from the British Academy is recognition of the importance of the field of developmental psychology and early learning to which she has contributed an extraordinary amount. Kathy’s considerable work in the field has ranged from studying early childhood curriculum and assessment, to investigating ways to support parents in child management and learning, to having carried out many large-scale studies on the effects of early childhood education and care on children’s development, and much more.
As ACAMH President, Kathy has consistently brought her passion for children’s mental health and for putting theory into practice to the organisation’s work. Through helping shape and lead our efforts in sharing best evidence in easily accessible ways, involving young people, families and practitioners in all our activities, and in improving the quality of practice, care and support to promote the wellbeing of children and adolescents, Kathy’s unwavering and deeply consequential commitment to the field has been widely evident. We are incredibly pleased that the British Academy has recognised her substantial influence in the field of child and adolescent mental health.