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Early years providers across the country will be taking part in more Ofsted Big Conversation meetings in the New Year.

One of the first free schools to open is to have its funding withdrawn by the Department for Education and will close next year.

Too many schools in England have mediocre teaching and weak leadership, Ofsted’s chief inspector has said.

The proportion of early years providers judged inadequate has risen in the past year, annual Ofsted figures show.

The Pre-School Learning Alliance has renewed calls for reform of Ofsted’s inspection system, after figures from a Freedom of Information request show that more early years settings are downgraded following inspections triggered by complaints, than during routine inspections.

Childminders have expressed disappointment that a peer’s attempt to postpone the introduction of childminding agencies has failed.

Ms Gregory is to retire at the end of December after 13 years working at Ofsted.

Professionals working with children should be required by law to report any suspicions they have about child abuse, the former director of public prosecutions has said.

The Ofsted Big Conversation is planning to take its next step forward by setting up a structure for regular meetings with Ofsted’s regional directors.

The Department for Education (DfE) is consulting with the early years sector and parents on staff:child ratios, in a renewed drive to encourage providers to move to a 1:13 ratio for three- and four-year-olds.