Francesca Brown-Cornwall


Health, Education, Policing and Sciences

I originally joined Staffordshire University in 2013 as a part-time Lecturer and since then, have worked on all Undergraduate Education Awards part and full-time routes. As an advocate of creative and digital teaching I was awarded the Teaching Excellence Fellow. I am also accredited with Microsoft Certified Educator status and MIE Expert status and this is embedded in how I support and facilitate the education of students.

Prior to my role in higher education, I had been working within the field of early years for over a decade in varying capacities and I have held numerous senior and management roles, developing both the business acumen and practical expertise essential for the sector. I had the pleasure of contributing to and leading a team of highly talented staff in achieving and maintaining Outstanding Ofsted judgements since 2004. I also delivered bespoke training and consultancy for Early Years Settings and further education and private post-compulsory Education settings.

A further specialty of mine is practice pertaining to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. I have experience of working with a range of individuals and teams in differing education and early childhood services. I have experience of working with children with a variety of complex needs and observing the advances children make as a result of a team around them is incredibly fulfilling. I am keen to support others in becoming an asset to the lives of children and learners.

Professional memberships and activities

Senior Fellow of the HEA

DigiLearn Certified Member

MIE Expert

Academic qualifications

Present - PhD Candidate expected completion 2024

2017 - PGcHPE

2014 - MA in Education

2011 - BA(Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Top –Up) Degree

2009 - Foundation Degree in Early Years


Care and Education of Children Aged 0-8.

Contemporary Early Years Practice

Equality, Diversity and SEND

Educational Technology in Early Years and Higher Education

Research interests

I am a hybrid researcher whereby my research interests crosscut psychology and education. I am currently exploring thinking (higher order and executive functioning) in two-year-old children and their smile and laughter response.

I am also an Innovator for the Staffordshire Centre of Learning and Pedagogic Practice with two projects currently running:

  • Staffordshire University Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Coaching Programme
  • Developing a hybrid pedagogic practice toolkit.

My other research interests include:

  • Tech and tactile approach to teaching in Higher Education
  • STEAM and computational thinking in Early Years


Two grants from the Staffordshire Centre of Learning and Pedagogic Practice.


Teaching experience includes the following:

BA (Hons) Education Studies

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, full/part/fast-track routes

Guest lecturer PGCE, PGCHPE, MA

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Early Years Teacher status


BA (Hons) Primary Education

I have developed and conducted continuing professional development training experiences for early years practitioners in the locality, and the Staffordshire University Multi-Academy Trust.

  • I have been awarded a Teaching Excellence Fellowship for my approach that combines tactile and technology enhanced learning to respond to individual learners needs, make session’s memorable and enjoyable.
  • PVI nurseries and schools-based nurseries, reception classes and wrap around care/educational clubs facilitating the delivery of EYFS, National Curriculum and phonics.
  • Post compulsory education settings.


A selection of publications, events and conferences recently featured at:


Brown-Cornwall, F. (2022) ‘Student and Lecturer Reflections on Merging the Physical and Digital Classroom with a Tech and Tactile Approach’, IPiHE, Vol.4 (3) at

Brown-Cornwall, F. Coombe-Boxall, M. (2022) ‘SUMEC: Building the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Programme into HE Staff Development’, IPiHE, Vol. 4 (3) at

Brown-Cornwall,F. Coombe-Boxall, M. (2022) ‘SUMEC’, UCISA Conference, 28th April

Upcoming Book Chapter: Planning and Organising for Learning and Positive Behaviour

Brown-Cornwall, F. (2022) STEAM in the EYFS, BSME Webinar

Cornwall, F., Coombe-Boxall, M. (2021) What is SUMEC? SUMEC Showcase, June, Staffordshire University

Cornwall, F. (2021) Fran’s Favourite Four Activities Powered by Microsoft, SUMEC Showcase, June, Staffordshire University

Cornwall, F. (2021) Myth Busting part 2 and Tech and Tactile Approach, School of LSE Blended Learning Conference, May, Staffordshire University

Cornwall, F. (2021) DigiLearn Sector: A ‘Tech and Tactile’ approach to teaching – pandemic update!, [online] Available at Guest post – DigiLearn Sector: A ‘Tech and Tactile’ approach to teaching – pandemic update! – CCL Blog (

Cornwall, F., Coombe-Boxall, M. (2021) MIEExpert Update, UClan DigiLearn Conference, March, University of Central Lancashire

Cornwall, F. (2021) Smile and Laughter Response in Two-Year Old Children, SEFDEY Conference, March, Staffordshire University

Cornwall, F (2020) Tech and Tactile Approach to Teaching in HE, UClan DigiLearn Conference, September, University of Central Lancashire

Cornwall, F. (2020) Higher Order Thinking and The Smile and Laughter Response, ECSDN Research Conference, January, Sheffield Hallam

Cornwall, F. (2019) It Is of Its Time: Computational Thinking in Early Years, DIGITLEY Pre-Conference, March, Manchester Conference Centre

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2024

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021