Select Committee on Education and Employment Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from Professor Tricia David, Professor of Education (Early Childhood), Canterbury Christ Church University College (EYF 06)

  1.  As an academic and long-standing early years educationist, researcher and practitioner, I wish to congratulate and thank the HoC Select Committee for their most welcome and well-informed report.

  2.  The issue of training, qualifications and conditions for educators continues to be a difficult one. While the Government has done much to ameliorate the situation, we do need to continue to ensure high levels of training, together with funding for and access to different levels of training, in order to complete the "climbing frame". In particular, initial Early Years Teacher Status has been helped by the development of Early Childhood Studies degrees followed by PGCE and other routes into teaching. Vigilance is needed so that those already working in the field can access such routes part-time and receive funding. We also need models of in-service training which are as near as possible to the Reggio Emilia model. Can the Minister provide any assurances that the quality (including levels of qualifications) and quantity of Early years courses will be funded for some time, in order to bring the field up to the equivalent of the other Key Stages? (For this purpose I see 0-6 as a first "key stage").

  3.  RE: the "Smacking debate"—please could the Minister tell us why she and the Government are not taking the kind of lead taken by other Governments to help eradicate physical punishment of children and the advocacy of more appropriate modes of disciplining children, especially young children?

April 2001

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