This event took place on Tuesday 5 March.

Across the UK, professionals in local authorities are developing innovative ways to use data to improve the first, formative years of a child’s life. But great innovation thrives on connection, so it’s vital to provide opportunities to share ideas and learning between professionals from different parts of the early-years system and different areas of the UK.

On Tuesday 5 March Nesta and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) co-hosted an all-day event for professionals working with data in the early years. This event created a welcoming and open space to come together and share ideas on how data can improve services for children and families.

We shared insights from Nesta and GMCA on the work they’re doing, different proposals for data uses for the early-years sector and heard from our keynote speaker: Leon Feinstein, Professor of Education and Children’s Social Care at Oxford University and former Director of Evidence at the Children’s Commissioner’s Office.



Leon Feinstein

Leon Feinstein is the Professor of Education and Children’s Social Care and Director of the Rees Centre. Previously, he was the Director of Evidence at the Children’s Commissioner’s Office. He has also held the post of Chief Analyst in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit in HM Treasury. He has a PhD in Economics from the University College London. Leon is a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences, a Visiting Professor at LSE and the University of Sussex, a Trustee at the What Works Centre for Social Care and a Member of the Youth Endowment Fund Grants Committee and the NSPCC Research Advisory Group. Leon has written, edited and reviewed various publications, including books, journal special issues and special sections, practitioner and policy journals, published research reports, discussion papers and reports for government departments and agencies. Leon has led and been a part of numerous grants and awards.

Miriam Loxham

Miriam Loxham

Miriam joined the GMCA in 2019 as Programme Manager for Early Years and School Readiness. The role involves leading delivery of the city region’s transformation programme focused on improving school readiness outcomes. The £3m programme focuses on three strategic priorities; Developing our Evidence Based Model, Embedding Best Practice Pathways and Developing our Enablers. Miriam works with a range of partner across local government, health, education and the voluntary sector; convening the system to support with collaboration, programme delivery and policy development. Prior to joining the GMCA Miriam worked in a variety of local government roles across commissioning, service transformation and workforce with a focus on adult and children’s social care. She also has a background working in the arts and cultural sector.

About the partner

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

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