Magazine article Public Finance

Early Years Teaching 'Could Do Better'

Magazine article Public Finance

Early Years Teaching 'Could Do Better'

Article excerpt

Pre-school children are not meeting government-set learning goals because of variable early years teaching standards, education inspectors said this week.

Ofsted carried out a major survey of the foundation stage - the first phase of the national curriculum focused on children aged three to five. This revealed that while most places provided effective education and care, in a third, communication, language and literacy standards were lower than expected. Speaking and listening skills were also weak.

The foundation stage sets out early learning targets in six areas: personal, social and emotional development; communication, language and literacy; mathematical development; knowledge and understanding of the world; physical development; and creative development.

The survey, published on March 6, represents the first major examination of the foundation stage since 2001. Inspectors visited 144 different types of location, including primary, special and nursery schools, children's centres and private nurseries.

It found that teaching was good in 70% of places but there were concerns about a lack of continuity as children moved year groups, as well as the underachievement of those who have English as an additional language. …

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