Dear Primary, Secondary, Further Education and Higher Education colleagues,

Many of you may not have experienced working with our youngest children, perhaps some of you may have- but as the "foundation stage" of education the work that happens in these early years (birth to 5) will be of great importance to you....

 

Right now, whichever phase we work in- whether it is a baby room or a university- it is fair to say that we are all working flat out to do the very best for those we work with. I wanted to share with you some of the mess that our sector finds itself in and ask for your support as we stand against what is being thrown at us.

 

Firstly- whilst most schools and educational establishments are closed to most students, and whilst we battle to teach on Zoom, Teams or perhaps Google and as lateral flow testing starts to be rolled out in our institutions- the picture in the sector working with our youngest children is very different.

 

*Cases amongst staff and children are rising.

*Staff are not on immunisation plan.

*No lateral flow testing will be available on site

...and if they close to protect staff/children- they may never reopen.

This is the first real piece of mainstream media attention we have seen.

https://www.itv.com/news/2021-01-21/covid-nurseries-forgotten-by-government-as-cases-soar-among-staff

 

Now imagine within your own sector- imagine if you were told there would be a new statutory test coming into force from September 2021. A test that would take you away from your pupils before you've even got to know them. A test that won't be for your benefit- or even theirs. A test that is purely a data exercise.

 

A test that tests narrow areas of learning including content you wouldn't even expect them to know at their age/stage of education. A test that is costing £11 million- whilst children go hungry and haven’t had the technology they needed during lockdown. A test that has been proven to be flawed.

 

Now imagine that from September 2021, alongside having to deliver this test, your complete educational framework has been rewritten including assessment procedures and what you're expected to teach. You got involved in consultation- but were largely ignored and what you are now being asked to do simply is not good enough.

 

You've had no CPD. No time to really plan for these major changes- you've just been trying to get through teaching in a pandemic. And also add in that much of the reform is inappropriate for your students and is steering you down a road you know is not what they need.

 

It wasn't right before the pandemic or during it.

It definitely won't be right after it.

Well this is the world of Early Years right now.

 

You might not work in Early Years.

You might not know much about it.

But right now- we need you to stand up with us

#protectearlyyears #standingtogetherforearlyyears #RespecttheEarlyYears

 

With regards and in solidarity

Stay safe everyone- you are  doing an amazing job in the toughest times,

 

Elaine Bennett

Reception Teacher

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#StandingTogetherForEYs

The Early Years Sector is a wide and diverse place. From childminders, pack away pre schools, maintained nursery schools, family centres, day nurseries, primary schools, charities,  and further and higher education settings training the workforce of tomorrow. There are organisations that represent the entire sector across the globe-and one thing connects us all: Our passion and commitment to giving each and every child the very best start.

 

Keeping Early Years Unique is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues across the sector and across the globe.  One way we are doing this is by playing our part in the Early Years Coalition as well as working with other organisations.

 

Read more about the Early Years Coalition here . Here is why we took action:

 

"In July 2018, the DfE published what they presented as a review of the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) but was in fact a comprehensive rewrite of the EYFS Statutory Framework, including the Educational Programmes for each Area of Learning. Many in the early years sector were surprised that such an extensive process of change had been embarked upon with very little engagement with sector representatives and experts. "

 

Read the full Getting it right in the EYFS: Literature Review document, to explore the wealth of evidence handed to DFE as they propose their EYFS reforms.

 

Within the coalition and outside of it, there are so many of us.

We cannot be ignored.

We will not be ignored.

We will be heard.

We have the knowledge.

We have the expertise.

We have the evidence and the research.

We are the people on the ground.

We can make a difference wherever we are and whatever we do.

 

We are not alone.

 

Find about more by clicking on the links below: