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Early years coalition launches survey ahead of proposed EYFS changes

By Rachel Lawler
Child and adult using tablet
A coalition of early years organisations, including the Alliance, has launched a survey to help better understand attitudes towards the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) ahead of a government consultation due later this year.
The coalition, which also includes Early Education, NDNA and PACEY, was founded in response to concerns about the number of early years experts involved in drafting the proposed new Early Learning Goals.
Early years practitioners are invited to take part in a survey on the topic, offering a chance to share what changes they would like to see. The survey is available here.
Sector concerns
Michael Freeston, director of quality improvement at the Early Years Alliance, commented: “This consultation could bring about the biggest changes to the EYFS since its introduction. The Early Learning Goals, currently being piloted were devised with little input from the sector. My concern is that policy is being devised from a perspective that does not put children first and seeks to extend formal learning down into the early years. This makes it all the more vital that, when it comes to this consultation we are not only listened to but are also around the table, shaping what any changes should look like.

“I would urge everyone working in the early years to complete this survey. The more of us who make our voice heard now the harder it will be to ignore us when the government sets out the terms of its consultation later this year.”

Ensuring improvements
Beatrice Merrick, Chief Executive of Early Education said: “It’s entirely appropriate to revisit the EYFS and see whether it can be improved, based on evidence that has accumulated since the Tickell Review. Tickell set a benchmark of good practice in consulting with the sector and reviewing the research to ensure that the EYFS was as well constructed as it could be at the time, and any future reviews should live up to that same standard.
“We want to ensure that piecemeal changes such as the recently proposed changes to the ELGs don’t compromise the quality of the whole. We’re pleased DfE are engaging with us, and we hope that some of the less well-informed changes to the ELGs will be unpicked before they go out to public consultation to ensure that all changes are improvements on what is currently in place.”
The coalition includes: the Alliance, Early Education, Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network, Early Childhood Forum, Keeping Early Years Unique, the National Children's Bureau, NDNA, PACEY, Sector Endorsed Foundation Degrees in the Early Years and TACTYC.