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Early Years Foundation Stage Profile results: 2014 to 2015

Last week saw the publication of the latest EYFSP results for England. The figures show that the percentage of children achieving a good level of development continues to increase, with 66.3% of children achieving a good level of development. This is an increase of 5.9% points from last year. Girls continue to do better than boys, but the gender gap has decreased for two of the three key measures. The gap between all children and the lowest 20% of attaining children has narrowed very slightly by 1.9% points from last year and stands at 32.1%.


Inspection outcomes of early years providers by staff qualifications

Ofsted has released data on inspection outcomes of early years providers by staff qualifications. The key message from the analysis of over 16,000 settings shows that inspection outcomes are better for providers on non-domestic premises where 75% or more of staff are qualified to level 3 or above.


Exploring opportunities for social investment in the early years – survey for owners of private or voluntary nursery organisations

The Department for Education and Cabinet Office are working together to explore opportunities for social investment (investment aimed at tackling social issues) in the early years sector, with a view to increasing high quality nursery provision in deprived areas.  They are keen to broaden the evidence base in this area and would like your help to find out more about the sectors experience of investment, plans for growth in deprived areas and the potential for social investment.   If you are the owner of a PVI nursery please complete this short survey by clicking the link here.  The closing date for the survey is 11th November.


Mandatory reporting of known cases of female genital mutilation (FGM)

The Serious Crime Act 2015 introduced a new duty on teachers, social workers and healthcare professionals to report to the police known cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) involving victims aged under the age of 18.

The Government has announced that this duty will come into force on 31 October 2015, and has published procedural information and advice about the new duty.  This can be found here.

The Government recently completed consultation on multi-agency statutory guidance on FGM, and is currently considering responses to that consultation.  A report on the consultation, together with the statutory guidance will be published later this year.

Although relatively few early years practitioners will fall within the scope of the new duty as the definition of ‘teachers’ is based on who is within the scope of the National College for Teaching and Leadership definition, this is a useful reminder to all in the early years sector to look out for children who may be victims of, or at risk of, FGM, and to report concerns through their usual safeguarding channel.


Children’s Centre inspections

In July, childcare and education minister Sam Gyimah announced that he will be consulting on the future of children’s centres. The consultation will include a discussion of what accountability framework is needed to best demonstrate their effect. In light of this, the Department for Education has agreed with Ofsted to pause the children’s centre inspection cycle, pending the outcome of the consultation. The department does not think it is appropriate to continue to inspect under a framework that may be subject to change.

This means that any children’s centre inspections due in the 2015 to 2016 academic year under sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Children’s Centre (Inspections) Regulations 2010 will not now take place until after the conclusion of the consultation. Children’s Centres are expected to continue their work as usual during this pause, including collecting and monitoring of data in preparation for inspection. Ofsted will continue inspection of early years provision on the site of children’s centres as part of the new Common Inspection Framework, and will also continue to respond swiftly to any complaints or safeguarding concerns in children’s centres.


Consultation on amendments to the paediatric first aid requirements in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Following a review of the paediatric first aid requirements set out in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), the Government proposes to strengthen the current arrangements further by requiring that additional staff are trained in first aid.

This consultation document proposes to make it a requirement, in addition to existing EYFS requirements, that newly qualified early years staff (with a full and relevant level 2 or level 3 childcare qualification) must have either a full Paediatric First Aid (PFA) or an emergency PFA certificate before they can be included in the required adult: child ratios in an early years setting.


Nicky Morgan highlights guide for parents and carers

Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan has highlighted the 4Children guide for parents and carers ‘What to Expect, When’ as an excellent resource to support literacy in the early years. Speaking at an event she said:

“If a child fails to learn how to read, the consequences can be nothing short of devastating, holding them back for the rest of their lives.

I am absolutely determined to make sure that every child, no matter where they live or what their background, learns to read, to read widely and to read well – giving them the best opportunity to get on in life.”

The role of parents in getting their children reading is seen as critical, and to help parents get more children reading before they start school, the DfE has created new resources in conjunction with 4Children to equip parents and early years providers with high-quality activities and resources that help their children master the essentials of language.

The booklet has now been updated with additional resources to support literacy in the early years and can be downloaded here.

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