Why? Democratic Education is committed to promoting the practice of democratic education in settings, schools and other learning communities across the UK. We offer a range of high quality training and development opportunities for those in the Early Years and primary education sectors with an interest in involving the children in their own development  and fostering in them a long term love for learning.

Our training is fully informed by our own successful practice in our democratic early years setting Alexandra Park Children ‘s Learning Community. Our practice is inspired in the Reggio Emilia approach to facilitate the full participation of children under 5 years in their learning and the life of our setting.

Visitor days to Alexandra Park Children’s Learning Community.

The visitor days is an opportunity for practitioners to visit our early years setting and have the opportunity to:

  • Tour our setting and experience the use of the environment as the third teacher in practice.
  • Observe our democratic approach in practice.
  • Discuss specific practice topics.
  • Understand how to plan to support a democratic approach.

Time: 9.30 to 13.30

Cost: £40 per person (lunch included)

Call 0161 226 8080 or


for more information

Bespoke consultancy

We offer a range of individually tailored training sessions to meet the needs of your setting or your team.

Our consultancy offer focuses on how to develop lines of enquiry, effective observation of children’s learning. How to document and make children’s learning visible. How to develop environments that will support children’s learning based on their interests and democratic practices in the early years.

We also offer bespoke consultancy on how to embed democracy in teaching and learning in primary education.

We can offer:

Staff inset training (full/half day).

Facilitated group work at team meetings.

Series of support visits

Peer to peer working to enable practical application of training input.

Support and training can be offered in day time or evening sessions.

If you have particular interests that you would like to explore or develop and would like to discuss the possibility of bespoke training please feel free to contact us.

Training Team

Dr. Susana Lopez Penedo
Susana is the director of Why? Democratic Education. She founded both Alexandra Park Children’s Learning Community and Alex Park Democratic School. She has lectured in the Early Years, Primary Education and PGCE courses in Complutense University in Madrid and has also lectured Early Childhood Studies in Manchester Metropolitan University.

Edith Acosta. EYTS
Edith is General Manager and the EYFS Coordinator at Alexandra Park Children’s Learning Community. She is responsible for the professional development of the team at Alexandra Park Children’s Learning Community and ensuring that the EYFS is embedded in our democratic practice.

Christina Green
Christina is the Atelierista for the whole setting, providing creative support to all of our rooms and outside spaces, securing the Reggio Emilia approach throughout. Her role also involves sourcing and creating resources and working with room staff to observe and document children’s learning journeys. She helps create displays and installations of children’s work within the centre. Christina works closely with the EYFS coordinator to assess staff practice inline with the Reggio Emilia perspective.

Karen Queeley
Karen is the Deputy Manager at Alexandra Park Children’s Learning Community and has extensive knowledge about child development. She works closely with Admin and the general manager to oversee children’s occupancy.  She is in charge of parent partnerships and is the Health and Safety officer in the centre.

Leanne Clarke
Leanne is one of our room coordinators and the SENCO for Alexandra Park Children’s Learning Community. She and the SEND team work closely with the rooms to provide support for our families and children. She is trained in Sustained Shared Thinking and Early Years Phonics and Mathematics.