OFSTED published their annual report today (13th December) which reiterates the conclusions from the 'Bold Beginings' review of teaching and learning in the reception year, published at the end of November, that the EYFS framework needs to be reviewed to put a greater emphasis on reading and mathematics.
This has drawn strong criticism from Neil Leitch, the Chief Executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, who believes that OFSTED should remember what its role is and what the role of early years education is.
Neil Leitch said
“It’s very positive to see the passion and quality of early years providers reflected in the continued improvement of Ofsted ratings with 94% of providers now rated good or outstanding – an increase of 20 per cent in five years.
“However, in the midst of these excellent results, it is incredibly disappointing that, even in light of the vast criticism of the recent Bold Beginnings report, Ofsted still sees fit to criticise EYFS as failing to prepare children for KS1.
Let's be clear: the purpose of the EYFS should never be about "preparing" children for formal schooling. It should be about fostering a love of learning through supporting the broad range of skills, such as physical development and personal, social and emotional development, that children need in order to flourish – both inside and outside of school.
“In recent years, Ofsted has been very clear that its role is one of an independent inspectorate focused on assessing the quality of education providers, not dictating the best way to teach and support learning. It is both confusing and concerning, therefore, to see such a sudden shift towards advocating alongside government for a radical move away from accepted best early years practice and towards the 'schoolifcation' of the early years - and one that Ofsted would be well-advised to reconsider."