After successfully completing a BA (Hons) in Social Policy at the University of Hull in 1992, Elspeth was employed at a therapeutic community for children who had suffered various forms of abuse. It was based on psychodynamic principles and laid the groundwork for a lifelong academic interest in early years and education. Achieving a PGCE with QTS precipitated a change to teaching in the further education sector for more than 20 years. Initially involved in programmes up to level 3, she began teaching on HE programmes in 2008 and this led to Elspeth becoming a quality manager. Wrote and co-ordinated a successful ‘creative partnerships' bid in 2010 which led to the first project of its kind to be hosted within the FE, rather than the primary sector.