The petition, started by early years consultant and trainer Kym Scott, calls on the Department for Education (DfE) to halt the review of the EYFS early learning goals (ELGs) until a panel of suitable early years advisers is put together.
Nursery World reported last week that very few representatives from the early years sector are involved in reviewing the EYFS early learning goals (ELGs).
A Freedom of Information request revealed that hardly any practitioners with direct experience of working with pre-school children are on the review panel. The names on the list include experts in primary teaching and one secondary maths expert. Others include commercial providers such as Jolly Phonics and Ruth Miskin Training.
The petition, which has so far been signed by 5,072 people, asks the DfE to remove those advising on the ELGs who have large scale commercial interests and no proven expertise and knowledge on the education of young children. Also, for criteria to be provided for selecting advisers based on their background and knowledge of early years best practice.
It states that the review should only be re-started when a ‘suitable’ group of advisers are in place, after which consultation with the early years sector could begin.
Nursery World understands that the revised ELGs are due to be published shortly by the DfE.
Kym Scott said, 'I launched the petition to request the DfE to pause the review of the ELGs because of the concern myself, and many others, have around what the government appears to have in mind for the future of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
'One would assume that the DfE would want their advisory group for this task to be made up solely of those who are experts in young children’s learning. However, those working every day with children in the EYFS appear to have been bypassed in this review process.
'Of those that have provided guidance, some have large scale commercial interests in the EYFS and could be set to make millions in product sales, linked to the advice they give.'
She added, ‘The Government must demonstrate more willingness to learn from early years experts who truly understand and can advise on the range of knowledge, skills, and dispositions young children really need to go on to achieve at the highest levels and to live a happy, successful, fulfilling life.’