Early Years Teacher gears up for massive expansion

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Significant expansion of the Early Years Teacher programme is underway with the number of training providers set to increase from the existing eight to more than 40 for 2014/15.

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Studying at Bishop Grosseteste University

Early Years Teacher status is awarded to graduates who have undertaken early years initial teacher training (ITT) and have been judged to have met all of the teachers’ standards (early years) in practice from birth to five years old. The teachers’ standards (early years) support the training, assessment and award of Early Years Teacher status. 

Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) is intended to be seen as equivalent to qualified teacher status (QTS) as entry requirements to early years ITT are the same as those for entry to primary ITT.

In a recent speech, education and childcare minister Elizabeth Truss said that in September 2013, more than 2,300 trainees were recruited to become Early Years Teachers, representing a 25 per cent increase on the last cohort of Early Years Professionals, which the new status has superseded. 

The DfE anticipates that 41 universities and colleges in England will be on board with the programme for 2014/15.

Early Years initial teacher training will be delivered by accredited ITT providers only. The aim is to locate early years teacher training with good and outstanding providers of ITT. The National College of Teaching and Leadership says this enables it to allocate training places to the highest quality providers and according to government priorities on a year-by-year basis.

Bishop Grosseteste University Lincoln will join existing EYT training providers such as Kingston University, Chichester University and Leeds Metropolitan University which are now into their second term of delivering the programme through the four routes, to the first cohort of students.

BGU will offer 50 places to train candidates to become Early Years Teachers.  It identifies the programme as a good fit with its other courses which include QTS (working with ages three to 19 years) and teaching in the lifelong learning sector. Early Years Teacher effectively broadens the scope of its training to cover babies to pensioners.

Graduates who intend to, or already work, in the early years sector will be able to apply through the graduate entry (mainstream), graduate entry (employment based) or assessment routes.  Undergraduates will also have the opportunity to combine the programme with study for a degree in Early Childhood Studies.

Detailed research was undertaken by BGU to establish the potential benefits that Early Years Teacher could offer for professional development locally, and the positive impact this might have on the outcomes of young children.

Amy Stancer, academic co-ordinator for the Early Years Programme at BGU, said, ‘Before jumping in we carefully researched how Early Years Teachers could benefit the East Midlands locality, and found this to be very positive. On the basis of this we submitted a proposal to the National College of Teaching and Leadership, which was approved.

‘We are now very excited about offering the programme as it gives us the opportunity to focus on early years in depth. Over the coming weeks we will be working on the content and getting the message out about it.’