Alliance responds to Ofsted's new Education Inspection Framework

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said: 

"We welcome the evolution of the early years inspection framework and the strong focus on outcomes. Releasing the draft frameworks as part of the consultation enabled the sector to give considered feedback, which Ofsted has recognised in the final documents. We are pleased the documents have been released now to give practitioners the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the new handbooks before the autumn term begins."

"We do still have concerns about some of the detail within the new framework. For example, the reference to Cultural Capital that has no clarity or detail other than a reference to the wording in the National Curriculum. We would invite Ofsted to work with us to support the sector to get clarity where it is required."

"In the early years section of the schools framework, we are pleased that it explicitly notes EYFS is the curriculum that needs to be followed for all children up to the age of five, although we were a little puzzled at the odd statement later in the document where it says the EYFS curriculum ‘provides no limits or barriers to the children’s achievements.’ This was not in the original schools handbook, and it feels like a grudging acceptance of EYFS.

"We particularly welcome the acknowledgement of the impact of workload on early years practitioners and how leaders and managers can support that. It builds on the work the Alliance is carrying out in partnership with Ofsted and the Department for Education to identify what paperwork and administration causes the most stress in the sector."

"All in all this was a good consultation and we hope Ofsted keeps listening in order to address some of the finer detail as the framework gets put into practice."


About the Alliance

The Early Years Alliance is the largest and most representative early years membership organisation in England. A registered educational charity, it also provides high-quality affordable childcare and education to support children and families in areas of deprivation throughout the country.

The Alliance represents 14,000 member settings and supports them to deliver care and learning to more than 800,000 families every year. We deliver family learning projects, offer information and advice, produce specialist publications, run acclaimed training programmes and campaign to influence early years policy and practice.

The Alliance website is