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Uprising about the early years foundation stage becoming legislation. Take the chance to investigate and respond.

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by debbiehep, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. Just checked the petition - 6,000 names !!
  2. Thanx for posting ladies... interesting stuff

    Carla Booth
  3. Can anybody help me I am writing an academic essay on the EYFS I need names and evidence of childcare health and child psychologist professionals who are against the implementation of the framework. also the childcare act state this framework will improve outcomes and reduce inequalities of children how? what when children do not attend a early years setting or children in other groups ie special educational needs/ poverty/disadvantaged thanks
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  5. Over 6,000 signatures-is that a lot in p.m. petition terms?
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    If you view the other education petitions the OpenEYE petition is fourth in total number of signatures and hasn't been open as long as others so I assume it is a lot. The petition is open until September
  7. I have just sent this email in response to the latest group email from Richard House. These are my latest thoughts regarding the thrust of the Open EYE campaign - which, in truth, disappoints me:

    "Dear Richard,

    Thank you for forwarding your latest email to me regarding the Open EYE campaign and its development to date.

    I have just read the special report by Dr Aric Sigman which I have found very interesting indeed. As a parent and a teacher I have felt pressurised by society, marketing and the prescription of the educational/political hierarchy to provide ICT media for my children and my pupils. I worry about the effect this has on the quality of upbringing and education that my children and my pupils are subject to and it has been very interesting to read of other people?s worries supported by their professional observations.

    Whilst I have not ?studied the studies? cited in Dr Sigman?s report, nevertheless much of what is commented upon appears very sensible in general terms.

    On the other hand, the internet and other technological advances have opened up a huge world and I can appreciate that we have access to something which is, in effect, both worrying and wonderful. How can we address this?

    First of all, I do believe we must look at the notion of ?everything in moderation?. For some time now I have been promoting the need to ?make things simple?. Note that I have not said ?keep things simple? because nothing is simple any more. No wonder there are rising levels of work-related and life-related stress and an increase in suicides. Life in our society is enormously complex, pressurised, fast-paced and overly bureaucratic. I deplore all these things and pity the new generations entering into this world.

    The growing political interest in the early years domain is understandable ? but the outcome of this interest is a ludicrously ?accountable? bureaucratic system where government and advisors have delved far too deeply into the minutiae of how people run their settings and their lives. Whilst it may be legitimate to provide information and guidance to all ranges of people (for example, parents, practitioners, managers), I do not think it is legitimate to prescribe and police people and to take away their choices. The ?choices? that people make may not meet the approval of others and that includes the basis of Steiner education itself. You cannot assume that everyone agrees with your formula for the early years ? and I would argue that the point is that we need the freedom to make our own choices.

    You have noticeably chosen to target two main areas in your campaign. Firstly you have raised concerns about legislation regarding ?quasi-formal? education for literacy and, secondly, you have raised concerns for the formal use and measuring of the use of ICT. I have sympathy for these worries and can understand your position regarding these areas of learning particularly regarding the Steiner way of providing for pre-school children.

    What I have fully realised through your latest email, however, is that the Open EYE campaign seem to be moving forwards on these two issues specifically and working towards the position of ?ease and broadening? of exemption to the EYFS framework. I am very disappointed in this development and feel that it falls far short of what we should be aiming for.

    I thought we were aiming for the EYFS framework to remain at the level of ?guidance? rather than to become a ?legal requirement?.

    In addition, whilst it is entirely correct that we must always put the health, welfare and education of the children themselves uppermost, I, and others, have drawn attention to the fact that the practitioners themselves in the early years domain (including childminders) are frequently unhappy and even stressed by the advisory and moderating/policing and bureaucratic regime that has proliferated in the early years. Surely we need a national inquiry into the whole scenario in the early years and to focus only on the issues of ?literacy?, ?ICT? and ?exemptions? is grossly inadequate considering the full circumstances.

    I would suggest that it is vital for our very society and our political machinery that we start to consider the adults in our country more holistically. What is their experience of working in the early years and is this reasonable or practicable? Can adults who feel constantly pressurised to be accountable in minute detail, and who lack confidence as a result of modern expectations, provide the very best for the children in their care?

    I suggest not ? and I hope that I may be invited to take part in any national inquiry into the early years domain that may unfold subsequent to the Open EYE campaign to outline the reality of these pressures upon practitioners.

    It is too limiting to argue a standpoint of bringing simplicity and more natural environments to pre-school children when the adults themselves are drowning in the complexities and pressures of government prescription and measuring.

    I have no doubt that there is tremendously good intent amongst politicians and advisors ? but their ideas are often too pedantic and the resulting guidance for practitioners extends too far. Add to that concoction that practitioners and parents have their own personal views and philosophies of education. How can anyone deem to prescribe a national formula and a formula for accountability with all this diversity?

    In conclusion, surely the issues are:

    1) The need to look at the whole picture of early years provision in a genuine and far-reaching way

    2) The need to transfer the issues of contention from ?literacy?, ?ICT? and ?exemptions? to whether or not the EYFS should become statutory at all

    3) An inquiry into the climate for practitioners and parents and children in the pre-school years

    I look forward to further developments and thank you sincerely for keeping me informed.

    Best wishes,


    Debbie Hepplewhite

    Cc Jim Rose

    Nick Gibb

    Ed Balls

    Beverley Hughes

    Michael Gove

    Annette Brooke

  8. I'm not sure if there have been any posts from childminders/nursery nurses (27 pages is an awfully long read...) so I thought I'd offer my 2 cents on this subject.

    I wonder how many people who have passed opinion have actually worked in private day nurserys?

    I for one am absolutely overjoyed that the government have finally put into place a single, comprehensive document that day nursery managers HAVE to follow (albeit a little difficult to get the hang of...).

    I have worked in both private nurserys and schools for the last 4 years and I have been astounded at some of the poor care & education I have witnessed. As a member of agency staff, I can visit up to 5 seperate providers in any one week.

    I can honestly say, from my experience, I will NEVER place my child in a private day care facility. Hence why I am in the proess of becoming a Registered Childminder (my baby is due in July).

    Those of you who saw the BBC's 'Whistleblower' programme may have an insight into why I have such strong views on the subject. Of the hundreds of providers I have worked for, there a literally a handfull that I would recommend.

    Many are understaffed by untrained, underpaid teenagers who have fallen into childcare 'by accident'. Those which are well staffed and well run are often government monitored Sure Start or Children's Centres.

    I genuinely feel that the new EYFS will go some way to eliminate the profit driven attitute of owners and managers of private providers. It will unearth the hidden reality of the poor, unfocused and sometimes dangerous, care of our babies and toddlers. I also believe that it may help with the poor pay and lack of respect we dedicated childcare professionals recieve. Minimum wage for responsiblity of the future of this country?! I think its offensive.

    Hopefully the plans to increase the percentage of qualified staff from 50 to 100% will also help here. I, for one, was offered an initial training wage of 80 pounds for A 40 HOUR WEEK in my first year of training. I was 22. Did I recieve training? Only if you consider being given the responsibilty for 5 children from my first week, training.

    Having said all this, I understand some of the frustration shown by EY teachers; I myself began an EY teaching degree last year, but soon left the course due to the evident bureaucrocy in schools. It simply did not sit well with my outlook on childcare.

    I think that the childcare community will see the benefits of the EYFS in the years to come. I think those children who have been placed in childcare provision will enter school education with better social skills, confidence and understanding of the system which will increase thier capability to learn. Those who need extra help will get consistent attention as assessment and monitoring will follow seemlessly from nursery to school.

    I consider the bigger picture here not to be about the scheme we use to teach reading - it is about the standards of CARE that now MUST be reached.
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I wish I could believe that EYFS will raise standards in those day nurseries (and yes there are some out there I wouldn't leave my dog at never mind my child) . I am sorry to see that Richard House has yet again included early reading in his latest post as this detracts from the issue and I hoped that as the OpenEYE campaign site had stated that this was not a shared concern it would remain separate from the issue.
  10. Re the issue of quality child care and staff training:

    I understand that people might interpret the EYFS framework as a solution for quality of care but I simply don't see this.

    Legislating for a complex document and accountability process where you have to 'look, listen and note' whether the babes have written marks in their custard on the high chair trays is nothing to do with improving standards of care.

    I suggest that legislating for which staff can be hired to do what level of responsibility with how many children in what square footage and with what standards of safety and with which training and on what minimum pay is a different matter entirely.

    It's so easy to get the 'issues' confused.

    It should be illegal, for example, to leave untrained, inexperienced, unchecked people 'off the street' to be looking after the babies and children of other people 'en masse'.

    Ofsted's role and other care organisations should be set up to keep a very close eye on standards of care and educational provision.

    But this does not mean that detailed guidance to the extent of the EYFS should be a legal requirement - surely it is, at best, a training and guidance document to be used hand in hand with high-quality training.

    People should bear in mind, I suggest, that there isn't a consensus about philosophy of education and care for pre-schoolers. You only have to read people's letters in the public domain - some people are extremely ambitious for their pre-schoolers and some people are much more relaxed about the content of the day and achievements of their children. Then the children themselves are very different with different requirements and so on.

    Guidance is so much more acceptable than legislation and acknowledges that people have different philosophies - but this is nothing to do with poor inspection, low standards of day care and so on.

  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  12. Really, it makes me wonder if you've read the entire document!

    The aim of the EYFS is the achieve the 5 Every Child Matters outcomes. Only 1 of these (Enjoy and Achieve)focusses on learning.

    I had started to write another essay pointing out how wrong you are, but you know what? There's really no point is there.

    People who dont like their job are going to critisise every attempt this government makes to improve our childrens lives.

    If the teachers go into the classroom with such a negative attitude towards the framework, the school, the education system, the government, the country, its no wonder the children come out of it feeling the same way.
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    dharmametal I think you have totally missed the point it is because we love our jobs and want the best for those children in our care that we can see the flaws in EYFS as it is currently being presented.
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    My own cynical response is that with EYFS and EYPS comes higher ratios in day nurseries and once again child care on the cheap. So I am not at all certain how this will improve standards.
  15. dharmametal

    You make a fair comment that
    "I myself began an EY teaching degree last year, but soon left the course due to the evident bureaucrocy in schools. It simply did not sit well with my outlook on childcare."

    Don't you think that the bureaucracy in schools stems from the imposed legislation that school staff have to deal with- not from the teaching staff themselves. How is EYFS going to help this situation?

    Note that Debbie also makes a very fair point by saying

    "Can adults who feel constantly pressurised to be accountable in minute detail, and who lack confidence as a result of modern expectations, provide the very best for the children in their care?"
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Looking at a broader picture

    EYFS + Affordable Childcare for all + 15 hrs FREE nursery provision for all 3 year olds + 12.5 hrs FREE nursery provision for some 2 year olds + EYPS (higher adult child ratios but no guarantee of higher pay)

    can anyone explain how this equates to better standards?
  17. Yes, I understand that legislation in schools leads to stressed out teachers - procisely why i gave up that path. But i would focus more on the pressure felt by heads to show high levels at formal assessment, which is passed onto teachers and TAs, and then onto children.

    I personally would see SATs scrapped at primary level, or at least informalised. i remember when primary school was just about having fun with little people and teaching them a little about their world along the way. so yes, i also see how the new reading scheme could add to this pressure.

    I'm confused as to how EYPS will lead to higher staff to child ratios, can someone enlighten me...
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    EYFS has paved the way for day nurseries to employ someone with EYPS (still at a low wage as there is no recommended pay scale ) but effectively increase the ratio from 1-8 to 1-13 so fewer staff need to be employed.
  19. Does anyone know what the EYFS ratios are for schools over lunch breaks and at other times when the 1:13 ratio does not apply? I think it may be 1:8 with staff at level 3 responsible for the children. Just need to confirm if anyone can help.

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