Happy Official Ofsted Inspection Framework Release…month?
That’s right, after months of consultation, the new Ofsted Inspection framework has finally been released, and with it a slew of accompanying paperwork to sift through.
We’ve got the lowdown on all you need to know about the new framework, but that’s not all. It’s been a busy month for early years and we’ve got every little morsel of it, including some troubling reports on child poverty, a rundown of some great free training opportunities on the horizon, and a load of intriguing early years opinion articles from across the web.
Oh, and the Famly Briefing video edition…is back!
1. The new Ofsted inspection framework
A month after receiving over 15,000 responses to their open consultation, Ofsted have published the Education Inspection Framework and accompanying handbooks, which will apply from September 2019.
Ofsted have brought out a report on their responses to the consultation, but if you don’t feel like sifting through all of that, we’d highly recommend Early Education’s short breakdown of the main changes from the initial draft (and a few more things that are still problematic about the handbook).
The main change from the draft framework is that the ‘quality of education’ outcome will not apply to breakfast, after-school, and holiday clubs.
On release of the new framework, Amanda Spielman said, “We hope all providers will no longer feel the need to generate and analyse masses of internal data for inspection. Instead, we want them to spend their time teaching and making a real difference to learners’ lives, which is why they entered the profession in the first place.” Let’s hope all the inspectors follow her lead.
+ Not caught up on the new changes yet? Watch our 10-minute interview with Deputy Director of Early Years Gill Jones, explaining all the main changes and the theory behind it.
+ If you’re going to read one thing about the framework changes, make it this brilliant piece from LEYF’s June O’Sullivan. She explains the main changes in plain English and gives clear examples of how they will impact the way you need to approach inspections.
+ Along with the framework, Oftsed have also released an updated version of their safeguarding guidance for the early years
2. Is child poverty the new normal?
The End Child Poverty coalition is this month calling on the government to do more to reduce child poverty, with research showing that, in some constituencies in the UK, more than half of all children are living in poverty.
The local indicators of child poverty report from researchers at Loughborough University estimated that 500,000 more children are being affected by poverty than at the beginning of the decade. The highest rates of child poverty were all found in big cities, with the top four all being councils in London.
End Child Poverty have called on the government to once again link benefits with inflation, end limits on child allowances for tax credits, and reverse devastating cuts to children’s services throughout the UK.
+ Another damning report from Human Rights Watch has accused the government of failing to ensure families’ basic right to food through its deep austerity cuts to the welfare system.
+The final report from UN Rapporteur on extreme poverty has also urged the government to make swift changes to policy in order to reduce extreme poverty in the UK.
+ Keen to make a difference? Early Education have launched a survey to try and find out what early years providers can do to help support families in challenging times.
3. Ratios and training impact provision
A new study on the UK’s early years provision has found that well-trained staff have the biggest impact on quality of care, and can even make up for lower staff-to-child ratios.
Researchers from Oxford University found that it’s possible to predict the quality of private early years setting based on staff qualifications alone. They were keen to stress that higher ratios still had a positive impact on the quality of care, while they also found that the quality of care in England has risen over recent years.
4. Free events for you and your team
Training and continuous professional development (CPD) are a really important part of providing quality childcare, but it doesn’t normally come cheap. So here are some free training and CPD sessions coming up over the next few months:
- We’re hosting our second Famly Sessions event, our free CPD session for everyone in the early years. This time it’s up north at the Childcare Expo Manchester and will feature talks from Dr Sue Allingham and The Early Years Alliance, about next steps and the importance of play. Get your free ticket here.
- The new strategic partner for the early years – the NCB – are running five free Learn-Explore-Debate events throughout the country in July. There are two events in London, and one each in Newcastle, Leeds, and Birmgingham.
- The South London-based Music as Therapy International is offering seven free places on its interactive Music-Making course for the third year in a row. The six-month course aims to help staff understand how to use music in a therapeutic way in their setting.
+ The Scottish government has also this month published a new induction pack for the early years, which you can download for free.
+ If you want to get involved and have your voice heard, a new coalition of the major membership bodies in the early years are asking for survey responses ahead of the government’s consultation on the EYFS.
5. The month in child development
Here are the studies worth paying attention to from the last month:
- Children who nap 30-60 minutes at least three times a week have fewer behavioural problems and tend to excel academically, according to this study from the University of Pennsylvania.
- Contact with nature during childhood could lead to better adult mental health says this study from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, following up on similar results from research at Aarhus University that we reported on last month.
- Communicating food benefits like ‘lentils help you run faster’ can help children make healthier choices, when compared to presenting food repeatedly without conversation.
- 3- to 5-year-olds who watch TV sleep significantly less than those who don’t according to this study from a renowned neuroscientist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
6. Success with Speech in Stoke
Catchy. The government has released a case study focusing on the results of a city-wide initiative to support speech, communication, and language in Stoke-on-Trent.
In 2004, a local study identified that 64% of 3-year-olds in Stoke-on-Trent presented with delayed language on entry to nursery. The Stoke Speaks Out initiative involved training over 8,000 practitioners and providing screening tools to assist early identification of language difficulties. They also supported ‘communication ambassadors’ in the community to spread the word and create a buzz around children’s language development in the city.
+ Details on a reform of the Children’s Services in Hertfordshire have also been released, where the focus was on improving safeguarding for children who have alcohol-dependent parents.
7. Scotland falling behind on funding pledge
New figures from the Scottish government have prompted deep concerns about whether they will achieve their target of building and expanding the 750 nurseries needed to expand funded childcare in the country.
The plans were put in place in order for the government to fulfil their pledge to offer 1,140 hours of funded childcare from 2020, but it’s been revealed that they have only built, expanded, or refurbished 97 nurseries in almost two years.
At the current rate, it seems the government will be a full 500 nurseries short of their target for the end of 2021.
8. The business bit
The big movers and shakers in the world of nursery acquisitions and expansions this month:
9. Best articles from around the web
We’re trying a new thing here this month, where we present the best opinion pieces on the early years that we’ve found from around the web. Let us know if you like it!
- A controversial one to start. The government’s ‘behaviour tsar’ has been interviewed by The Telegraph, blaming progressive teaching methods for a rise in poor discipline in schools.
- This informative piece from David Cahn in the TES explains why ‘You’re OK’ is the worst thing you can say to an upset child, along with some better actions you can take.
- Last week we featured an interview with nursery owner and manager Roopam Carroll, all about how she finds time for the things that matter in her busy work life.
- Another great, short piece comes from LEYF’s June O’Sullivan all about lifelong learning, that came from her annoyance that the DfE has begun to advocate using the word ‘attainment’ rather than ‘learning’.
- Dr Sally Neaum has written a guest piece over on Alistair Bryce-Clegg’s blog, all about the important skills children need before they’re ready for phonics. A methodical, and quotable argument against the schoolification of early years.
10. In other news
+ The new Men in The Early Years website that we spoke about last week has launched, and they’re looking for case studies about male early years practitioners who want to support the campaign.
+ Another great springtime activity from that man, Alistair Bryce-Clegg. This time it’s a spring-focused exploratory jelly!
+ Check out the seven storybooks for under-fives shortlisted for the Booktrust’s first ever Storytime Book Prize. See any of your favourites?
+ This beautiful Montessori garden celebrating 100 years since Maria Montessori introduced her approach to the UK received a gold medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.