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Meet the team

Linden Learning has a mission to bridge the gap between potential and performance.  We understand that you are the expert in yourself and our job is to help harness that expertise and put it to work to reach your goals. 

Tamsin Grimmer
Early Years Director
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Kay Mathieson

Tamsin Grimmer is an experienced Early Years Consultant who has a keen interest in how young children learn and develop.  She has improved outcomes for children as an Early Years Consultant for two local authorities and worked as an Area SENCo, teacher, lecturer and childminder.  

Tamsin Grimmer is an experienced Early Years Consultant with a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education.   Tamsin believes that all children deserve practitioners who are inspiring, dynamic, reflective and passionate about their learning. When children have the very best start in their early years, they adopt positive dispositions and attitudes to learning. The main way that Tamsin assists with this is through inspiring and motivating those who teach them through delivering training and consultancy.  In addition, Tamsin has written several books aimed at educators. Tamsin's previous roles have included Early Years Consultant for two local authorities, Area SENco, teacher, Mentor for EYP and EYT, PGCE lecturer and outstanding childminder.

Ruth Mercer

Kay’s work is rooted in the reality of real settings working with real children and families. She has a particular interest in personal, social and emotional development (PSED) of young children. Her recent research into children’s behavioural learning took place in pre-schools and day nurseries in South London and her most recent publications; Understanding Young Children’s Behaviour and I am Two! Working effectively with two year olds and their families, both build on this experience. In addition she has worked in a range of contexts with children who are experiencing various special educational needs, both pre and post diagnosis. She believes strongly that effective early years practice is also effective inclusive practice.

Kay believes in solution-focused work that builds on your current achievements. She has a very “can-do” approach, always encouraging you to think freely and creatively. Her enthusiastic and lively training sessions are well received by all kinds of audiences.

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Anne Kibuuka

Ruth has a lifetime career in early education and care. She has been a local authority adviser, a deputy head and then Head of a highly successful large nursery school and children's centre. As a leadership coach, Ruth has a particular interest in leadership development and a coaching approach to all aspects of early childhood development. Ruth is an endorsed action learning set facilitator working within teams and across teams. Her Masters specialised on integrated working with children and families and this brings a strong belief in promoting child voice.


Ruth can offer bespoke training and consultancy on a range of themes, some of which are leadership and team development,  integrating two year olds' into your provision, image of the child, involving parents in their children's learning.

Anne has over 25 years experience of working with the early years.She was the headteacher of a twice outstanding Nursery School and Children's Centre in an inner city area with high levels of deprivation. Anne also spent many years working in the field of special education and developed and lead an early years inclusion service which supported children in nursery and reception classes. Anne also lead a local authority autism strategy for children and young people aged 2 to 25.

Anne holds an advanced diploma in special educational needs, a masters degree in education, NPQH and a level 7 qualification in Executive Coaching and Mentoring. 

Anne is passionate supporting children, families and professionals in the Early Years where she believes excellent and holistic practice can make the most impact. Inclusion in all its aspects is at the heart of Anne’s work. 

Anne is also a qualified and experienced mindfulness facilitator and can offer a range of strategies and courses  to support practitioners and family well being.

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Angela Catto 
Early Years Consultant
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Penny Cartwright
Early Years Consultant

Angela is passionate about the power of coaching to develop potential and enhance the performance of leaders, managers and their teams in order to improve outcomes and impact.  She has over twenty years’ experience of working with  children and their families in a wide range of roles including early years and school leadership, local authority advisor, inspection and quality assurance.


As an independent consultant and trainer from 2006 Angela worked extensively with PVI and maintained settings in two London boroughs through her leadership of locally and nationally funded early years quality improvement programmes.


Since 2014 Angela has incorporated coaching into her work with early years leaders and managers and their teams, for example  when developing and delivering a locally funded programme –Leadership Matters, while also building and developing her private coaching practice.  

Penny Cartwright is an experienced Early Years Consultant and trainer. She was a teacher in nursery and reception in three local authorities before becoming an early years advisor in the London Borough of Lewisham. Penny believes passionately that young children deserve the highest quality teaching and learning, with a stimulating learning environment, which supports children to become confident, independent learners and motivated to learn. She has a proven track record of working with leaders and practitioners in schools, settings and childminders to improve outcomes for children.

Penny Cartwright has specialised in early years for many years. She studied at Goldsmiths’ College, has a degree in early childhood education and has many years’ experience working as a teacher and as an Early Years Consultant and trainer for a local authority and independently. She was the Strategic lead for the Every Child a Talker project and is particularly interested in how we support children’s communication and language skills which is fundamental to all other areas of learning. Penny is one of the authors of ‘A Place to Learn – Developing a stimulating learning environment’.

Annie Davy 
Consultant / Coach
Sonia Mainstone-Cotton
Early Years Consultant

Annie is a highly experienced leadership coach, mentor, trainer and facilitator. She is a catalyst for innovative projects spanning education, community and social enterprise, with a strong track record of incubating successful community projects, social enterprise and transforming environments. Key work skills: facilitation of peer to peer action learning sets,  a deep understanding of early childhood development and organisational resilience.  Annie is a passionate advocate of connecting to nature for better health and well-being.  Her most recent book for early years practitioners "A Sense of Place  - mindful practice outdoors"  was published by Bloomsbury in 2019.

Annie's career spans teaching, inspection, writing,  lecturing and management. She has held  successful leadership roles including  12 years heading up an award winning service of 300 staff, head of community education centre, interim headteacher of a nursery school and children's centre and founder of three thriving charitable social enterprises in her home town of Oxford.    She believes that supporting leaders' resilience is essential for a team, setting or organisation to flourish. She is passionate about her family, human development, Nature and creating great spaces for work and life. 

Sonia Mainstone-Cotton is a freelance nurture consultant working with 3 and 4 year old children who have social, emotional and mental health needs, an essential element of this role is in supporting the children’s and staff wellbeing. Sonia is also a specialist leader of education with her local teaching school. Sonia delivers training across the country to schools and early years settings as a freelance trainer, her specialisms are around children’s wellbeing, supporting children with social, emotional and mental health needs, listening to children and supporting staff wellbeing.


Sonia has worked in early years for 30 years, she has a BA honours in Early childhood studies and an MA in Early years education, Sonia has worked as a trainer in early years, working across the country for the last 15 years, this includes guest lecturing on MA and BA courses and as a key note speaker at several early years conferences.  Sonia is the author of 7 books and regularly writes for education magazines. Most of Sonia’s writing career has focused on supporting wellbeing for staff and children.

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Ruth Moyler 
Early Years Consultant

Ruth Moyler is an Artist-Teacher-Maker who is passionate about playful approaches to learning, and has encouraged high quality creative practise in schools arising from real experiences.

Ruth has worked as Deputy Head teacher of a large Primary school, as a guest Lecturer, a Senior Leader of Education , and as Lead Consultant within the Communitas Trust across 4 Primary Schools.

Ruth believes in the vital importance of positive pedagogy and has developed innovative multi -sensory approaches to the teaching of Reading and Writing in the Early Years . Another major strand has been developing oracy through complex play with the ‘Interplayland Project.’ Her work is original and emphasises ‘screen-free creativity.’ Ruth is also very much involved in the ‘Green Studio Project’ where children are encouraged to develop their self-confidence and resilience through exploration and innovation, rather than through formal subjects alone.

Ruth’s Masters’ Degree in Education opened doors for her to become involved with sharing good Early Years practise with teachers in Uganda,( VIVA annual conference) and she continues to devise and adapt high quality resources to be shared internationally.

Ruth can offer bespoke training to schools and organisations developing creative approaches to Early Literacy. Sessions can be interactive with songs, story-telling with real objects and hands on making in addition to the taught element and shared sampling. Ruth also leads ‘Green Studio Sessions’ encouraging adults to overcome negativity about their own creativity in order that they become better facilitators for young children.

Take a look at Ruth's YouTube channel. Ruth as been making 5 minute crafting videos as a means of promoting playful interactions between children and their parents.  

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