Charlie Taylor, chief executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, told delegates at the National Day Nurseries Association’s annual conference in Manchester that the hubs would build on the work being done by teaching school alliances, which bring together early years providers and schools to support, encourage and drive local improvements in quality.
Everton Nursery School and Family Centre, which leads the North Liverpool Teaching School Partnership, has been named as the national co-ordinator for the 20 teaching schools alliances.
Mr Taylor said, ‘We have commissioned 20 teaching schools, through the research and development network, to test and develop local early years hubs. They will engage a range of early years providers in professional dialogue, practice sharing and development.
‘This will increase the transfer of knowledge across and between schools and early years providers. Some common research themes that have already emerged are: transitions, school readiness and effective practitioner networks – something I am sure early years providers can expertly contribute to.’
The Government sees teaching schools as central to its vision for ‘a self-improving school led system,’ he said.
Sixteen nursery schools are designated as teaching schools with more than 50 more formally linked into teaching school alliances. Many already have strong links with local PVI settings and childminders. There are more than 100 teaching schools with registered nursery provision.
He added that any nursery – whether maintained or from the private, voluntary and independent sector – could become involved in a teaching school alliance.
‘I would urge you to consider this as a way of sharing your expertise and receiving support from a wider network of colleagues,' he said.
Early Years Teacher Status
Giving an update on Early Years Teacher Status, Mr Taylor said that more than 600 trainees have already finished their training for EYT.
On the issue of Level 3, there are still bursaries available to Level 3 apprentices who already have maths and English GCSEs at Grade C or above.
Touching on the debate around GCSEs and Level 3, he said, ‘I know this change is challenging, and some of you are concerned that this may reduce the number of learners on Level 3 courses, and therefore those entering the workforce at this level. However, many of you have told us that you support this development, as it will increase the quality and status of your workforce, and improve the support for your children.’
Funding is available for employees to take English and maths GCSE.
‘The Government is committed to improving levels of literacy and numeracy. It has maintained entitlements to fully funded English and maths provision, that will support good progression to the standard of a good GCSE for all adult learners,' he said.