The Department for Education consultation on changes to the school admissions code may not be high on the list of things to look at for most in the early years sector, but some of the proposals could have a significant impact on PVI providers.
Allowing schools to give priority admission to children in their nursery who receive Early Years Pupil Premium, Pupil Premium or Service Premium will be a huge incentive to parents to send their child to the school to guarantee a place in reception. It is another step towards effectively lowering the school starting age.
And more worryingly, the consultation says, 'In addition it is hoped that the proposed changes encourage more schools to set up nurseries and expand latent capacity to provide more high-quality early education.'
This assumption seems to be somewhat outside the scope of a consultation on school admissions, and evidence of the Government aiming to manage the market to give schools more of an advantage in providing for under-fives. The consultation is open until 29 September.
Much more on the radar has been the DfE announcement about 'British values' and nursery funding (see our online story and comments opposite).
New education secretary Nicky Morgan chose to make this one herself, even though the responsibilities of childcare and education minister Sam Gyimah have at long last been confirmed. Given the derision that met this legacy of the 'Trojan Horse' extremism row, Mr Gyimah might be quite grateful that he was not in the front line. The early years sector is looking forward to engaging with him.