Memorandum from Dr Andrew Lockett, Early
Years Inspector, Kirklees LEA (EYF 07)
I am essentially in agreement with the Select
Committee Recommendations. In reading the Government's Response
to the First Report of the Select Committee, there are still some
key outstanding issues to be resolved.
1. TRAINING AND
1.1 The teaching of young children is a
complex and difficult task requiring the most highly trained and
skilled professionals. Many Newly Qualified Teachers may have
had no training in how young children learn and develop, or to
plan and deliver the Foundation Stage Curriculum through play.
Hence, I welcome the Government's view regarding the importance
of the various agencies co-ordinating their training to ensure
a progressional route for Early Years practitioners, leading to
a Foundation Stage Teacher qualification at graduate level (recommendations
1.2 The QCA Foundation Stage Curriculum
Guidance has been most welcome. In order to deliver this curriculum,
the policy of supporting an adult ratio of 1:15 in Foundation
Stage maintained provision needs to be continued and extended
nationally, as a matter of urgency. This is not only crucially
important for the implementation of the QCA Foundation Stage Curriculum
Guidance, but to ensure that the care and linguistic needs of
young children are met (recommendation 14).
2.1 The Government's response to the Committee's
recommendations on Quality Standards has been welcomed. However,
there are still inconsistencies across settings. There needs to
be some uniformity with universal application across the private,
voluntary, independent and maintained sectors (recommendation
2.2 There are current discrepancies between
Section 10 and Section 122 Inspections, which look set to continue.
Both systems have their strengths, and gains could be made in
combining the two sets of procedures. Both inspections need "to
sing from the same hymn sheet", giving appropriate emphasis
to both education and care (recommendation 44). The introduction
by OFSTED of a requirement on settings to engage in self-evaluation
is a very valuable step in the right direction.
3. ACCESS TO
The emphasis on providing access to the outdoor
learning environment is an essential part of the Foundation Stage
provision. The new monies (including capital and money for equipment)
to support the development of such provision, particularly for
schools with Reception Classes, or mixed Reception/Year 1 classes,
needs to be a continued priority, as this is a key issue identified
in OFSTED Reports for many schools (recommendations 27; 28).
I agree with the recommendation of the Select
Committee. There are valid arguments for the end of the Reception
year as well as the beginning of Year 1. Whatever the final decision,
the role of parents and carers in the formative aspect of assessment
at the start and throughout the Foundation stage needs to be included
in the Statutory Baseline Guidance. In addition, the Statutory
Baseline Guidance needs to include the requirement for practitioners
to record their on-going observations of children's learning and
play as part of their profiling of children's learning throughout
the Foundation Stage (recommendations 2; 3; and 21).
There is a need for new monies to support developments
in the Early Years to be co-ordinated. It is extremely difficult
for EYDCP to maintain appropriate staffing levels in order to
manage the range of initiatives and accompanying monies when they
come piece meal throughout the year (recommendation 52).