Editor’s view - The circus is in town

Monday, March 19, 2018

Keeping an eye on everything that is going on in the early years sector at the moment feels a little like juggling too many balls. It would be very easy to drop at least one!

I wrote in our last issue about the recruitment crisis that is raging for nurseries and the National Day Nurseries Association survey that confirmed it in hard figures. Now we have the Education Policy Institute report that Natalie Perera comments on (opposite) and we report on (pages 6-7), with further concerning findings about the workforce and qualification levels.

Added to this is our story about further education colleges who have neglected to update information about GCSE regulations for Level 3 staff, probably putting off potential students in the process (pages 4-5).

There’s much more. Funding challenges are a constant refrain, but as Michael Petteval (opposite) reminds us, they are taking us down a dangerous road where quality can be overlooked.

Next up will be the proposed revisions to the Early Learning Goals, where the early years sector is hoping for sensible, much-needed revisions and alignment with Key Stage 1 that doesn’t involve making everything ‘harder’ for young children. There will be a couple of years of piloting and trialling before the revised Early Years Foundation Stage goes live in September 2020, so it will probably launch into a very different landscape.

Of most concern is probably the Baseline for Reception – the name of the organisation winning the contract is due to be announced very soon. There is huge unease at the revival of this failed method of testing children as they arrive at school: the high cost in money, time and the well-being of children that are once more being ignored in an ideological battle.

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