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Hi Everyone,

 

It's been a while since I have been on the forum. Just busy with work, studies and life in general. I finished my E123 and E124 in May with the OU just waiting on my results. I am due to start E115 in October. I was getting my funding through the transformation fund. Well, today I received a Graduate Leader Fund contract to sign, I was a little confused as I did not know about the Graduate Leader fund, (i now know it has replaced the Transformation Funding). I have not signed the contract as when I read through the terms and conditions it seems some things have changed since I previously signed up to do the Early Years Foundation Degree. To receive the funding I have to commit to completing the Degree (which is fine) but I also have to commit to doing the EYPS within 5 years. I had not planned to do the EYPS as one of the criteria is to have GCSE maths at grade c or above. Well, as I am an 'oldie' xD I don't have GCSE maths, I do have my O'level Englsh and other O'levels but unfortunately for me Maths has never been one of my strong points. I can do the every day maths and have had to deal with budget accounts in the past ect, etc, but give me an algebra or a geometry question and you may as well be getting me to read a totally different language :( .

I have been advised I could do maths as an extra subject in night classes, but at 45 and already working full time, studying the degree and have family commitments including a husband who sometimes is not in the best of health I am unsure if I want to commit to it. I feel very gutted at the new criteria. I am unsure what to do. The advice I need is, is there anyone else who has found themselves in this situation? Is there anybody else who in their 40's decided to do Maths GCSE and how did you find it. What exactly does the EYPS involve. If I continue with the Foundation Degree I have two and a half years left, then 6 months to 12 months to get the maths GCSE and then 6 to 12 months to get EYPS (not sure what the time scale is to gain EYPS once you start it) so I am looking at, at least 4 to 5 years to fully qualify. In which case I would be 50 :(. I am not sure if my poor brain would cope with it all :o . There are new incentives within the Graduate Leader Fund, but as I was already happy to do the degree the incentives don't really matter, I am more concerned about having to do the Maths GCSE and EYPS. I would be ever so greatful if anyone else can advise me or share their own experience with me. i don't want to give up as I don't usually give up, but I feel very unsure at the moment. I have until the end of the week to make my decision.

 

A very unsettled and unsure Rosepetal :(

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Hi Rosepetal.

i am older then you but in exactly same position. if you complete the fd and have expereince which Im sure you do the EYP will be a lot easier as it is proving you meet the 39 standards. I have to do a maths equivilent to do my eyp also so only have next year to do it like you.There are free courses in local schools,colleges,universities. If you do your FD and dont do anything else after this ie. QTS or a BA or eYP what is the point of doing your FD? As you wont get more money for doing FD but there is MEANT to be funds available for settings to employ a EYP to lead the EYFS. I dont have a poorly husband however so the decisions yours! a hard one I know but you are not alone I just wanted you to know :o

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in order to do my EYPS i had to complete a equivalency exam at the uni with three weeks notice.....like you i do the odd bit of maths for work but i was totally math phobic for all other types of maths

i was given the date and time to be at the uni for the exam and due to the trains arrived in Cambridge at 8am i had taken my daughter with me for support (aged 16 just completed gcse's) by 9.30 i was a wreck we were walking to the uni from the grafton centre with me sobbing into a tissue saying 'if i was supposed to have a gcse in maths i would have got it when i was 16' and her saying 'will you shut up that homeless man is looking at you like you're weird'

i got to the room at 5 to 10 and no one was there by 5 past i was in a total panic thinking i'd got the wrong room i rang the number on the letter to ask where everyone was the voice at the other end went silent then said...didn't you get the letter telling you we postponed the exam........so many people dropped out of the EYPS course because of the stress of the maths course we've given you all an extra month and put on classes!!

my daughter taught me enough to get me through the exam.....BBC bitesize was fantastic and i scraped through. The sense of achievement at gaining my maths gcse at the age of 40 was bigger than getting the EYPS.

I'm not scared of maths anymore infact i was surprised by how much sense some of it made now stuff that i didn't understand at school had meaning now so i kind of understood it becuase i could relate it to the real world...it wasn't easy and i didn't sleep for worrying about it some nights but when i got that phone call saying i'd passed!!!

 

whatever you decide.....good luck

its just typical that they change the criteria half way through i am so fed up with them moving the goal posts half way through, then changing the game 5 minutes from the end

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you can also do courses with the OU that are acceptable maths equivalence I believe that a pass in any course that starts with a M or T is acceptable equivalence. I have just finished an OU course on Google which is a T course and is acceptable I have attached the TDA acceptable equivalence document for you

gcse_equivalents_document.pdf

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Hi,

 

Thank you all soooo much for your replies. You have certainly given me good reason to go for it. It is good to know other people or in similar situations and have found ways to get through it. Well done to you all who conquered your fear of 'Maths'. Freda your post made me smile as I could just picture the scene with you and your daughter as that is like something that would have happened with me and my daughter. my daughter is 21 and has an excellent understanding for maths as does my son who is 23. They have both said they can support me through the 'maths fear'.

 

From what I understand about the EYPS Andreamay it appears to be portfolio building and an assessor assessing you, so it seems more of practical way of providing evidence to the 39 standards of own practice in a setting. I have over 20 years experience so hopefully as you say it will make gathering the evidence a bit easier. I think I just might go ahead and sign up for it!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Thank you Belle for the link, it has some useful info on it.

 

If I go ahead and sign up for it, I will definitely not do the maths until I have finished the FD. That way I can totally commit to doing just maths and then do the EYPS.

 

Thank you all again. :o

 

Rosepetal

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Hi Rosepetal

 

I too have just completed E124 and am due to start E115 in October.

 

I have received funding from what replaced the Transformation fund (cannot think what it is called) for £640. I have not had to sign anything to say that I will progress to the EYFS. My aim is to finish the Foundation Degree before I make any further decisions.

 

I have the form in front of me Early Years Foundation Degree Funding Application. On my form part 4 - Graduate Leader Funding - I didn't complete this part.

 

I have receving funding for the course, and for Study release, I don't qualify for the annual bursary having had it up front as a lump sum under the transformation fund. These are all grouped under the 'Support Strands' and I believe stand alone, I think you then have the option to apply for the Graduate Leader funding which is additional funding, and be willing to progress onto the EYPS, but it's not obligatory in Dorset for sure.

 

Is there any chance you completed this box by mistake on your application form, which why it has been sent to you?

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I would still go for it. At meetings I have been at with CWDC the Maths question keeps popping up. People are more scared of Maths than doing the EYP course. It is a long time away and I am sure things will change by the time you complete the FD.

My concern is that my 30 years work experience accounts for nothing in childcare yet I own two nurseries and am hoping to get another this year. At 51 I find myself at University trying to get an acedemic qualification to say I am fit to be an EYP with the equivalent of 5 A levels and levels 4 in Early Years and Management, 30 years experience and yet a newly qualified graduate is considered more suitable to be in charge in curriculum. Soap box here I come again. They MUST get experience first.

Really think CWDC need to speak to the private sector. Managers are now leaving in droves as they see more money coming to the EYP. Its like paying the teacher more than the Headmistress.

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Hi Rosepetal

 

Am in a similar position - doing BA Early Childhood Studies and want to go on to GTP so have to do Maths - Yuck!

 

I was deliberating whether or not to do The MU120 through OU or part time eve classes at a local college .

 

In the end I spoke to a really helpful GTP tutor at Reading Uni who told me that the OU course is a heavier workload than the GCSE at a local college.

 

I couldn't face this alongside work, the degree and family commitments and have finally decided to do the college route.

 

I am now signed up to start this September after putting it off for many years - have to say though, still not looking forward to it :o

 

Good luck with your decisions !

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Dont get me started on that Sadiesmith :o I have a EYP with us for 4 years did the EYPs last year for her own prof devlopment there is my deputy been at setting for 12yrs or so, me the leader for 9 and put mylife on hold to do the degree, they say jump I say how high!! just to keep my b..... job which I have done through 2 excellent ofsteds and yet they want me to make the EYP the leader!! and throwing money at us to pay her more money!!! I have utmost respect for her dont get me wrong she is a vital part of our excellent team but she has never led an early years setting before and why would we just step down and say here we are we have built this wonderful pre-school its yours!! so Ive said I cant do that sorry so they (children and families workforce team) are coming out to discuss it with me first week back!!

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One thing government dont understand is that running a pre school is down to a team not one individual who has been at university. Some of the most experienced nursery nurses and managers just cannot handle doing years of acedemic work. Please dont think I am playing down the EYP role- it is just experience MUST count towards it. The idea it is better quality is good but if we pay one individual vast amounts of money just because they have a degree what happens to the rest of the staff? I am going to try and get them the pay deal they all deserve if they are commited.

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But surely Andreamay there is no vacancy at the moment for a leader at your setting? You are now translating your obvious experience (who could ask for more than 2 excellent Ofsteds?) into gaining further and appropriate qualifications. Surely it's only right and proper that your setting wait until there is indeed a vacancy for a leader should you decide at some point in the future to further your career (not that I would anticipate that happening for some considerable time) then ADVERTISE the vacancy following correct EQUAL OPPORTUNITY procedures.

 

As you say, experience and ability to do the job in practice has to count!

 

Please let us know how you get on?

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In the end I spoke to a really helpful GTP tutor at Reading Uni who told me that the OU course is a heavier workload than the GCSE at a local college

Glad to hear Reading Uni coming up trumps, pickle.

 

Hali and I have just finished our BA with Reading Uni and for those of us doing EYPS as well they provided space in the curriculum to do a Uni maths equivalency exam, with fantastic tutor support for as long as we needed it. Since my maths was a CSE (not even bright enough to do an O level!) these sessions were very daunting indeed!

 

However with a patient and inspiring tutor and the support of my colleagues I managed to pass my equivalency at the first attempt, and it was such a relief. The sense of achievement was just fantastic: I was so proud that at the ripe old age of 45 not only could I remember some of my school days maths, but I really did seem to understand what I was doing!

 

I'd say go for it: if I can do it, anyone can! :o

 

Maz

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I am supporting an EYP. I at first wondered why she was so sure that I could become an EYP myself ( I am a level 3)

She just doesn't relate to the children at all. She is OK when doing a focussed activity but has fluffy duck syndrome. To think that I may be told to pass my many years of experience over to someone like her inspires me to start the Foundation degree myself!!!!!!!!!!!

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HI everyone,

 

Thank you for all the replies, it certainly got me thinking. I too have over 20 years experience of working in pre schools etc. I do believe that experience has to count for part of working with children. What I personally have learnt from furthering my qualifications is an in depth understanding of the back ground knowledge of children's development and the why we do things the way we do. For example, many years ago when I worked in a pre school the manager would never allow the children to put water in with the sand in the sand tray, books had to be kept in the book corner and not moved from that area. I now ensure that the children in the nursery where I now work, have many an opportunity to add water to sand if they want to, books can be removed from the book area and read in the garden reading area or else where in the play room, we do have rules though when the children are finished with the books they put them back. I have learnt about 'schemas' which I now have a fascination for. I love researching different theorists and linking there works into what the children do and staff. I have learnt to evaluate my own practice. I recently learnt about the 'Mosiac' approach which involves children in making decisions at their level using photographs. I personally would not have known about these and many other things that I have learnt if i had not have decided to further my qualifications. I do agree though we are not paid enough for the job we do and that is with all sectors of the job from nursery assistants right through to management. Working with children is very demanding and no one can do it alone, we all work as a team. having been in early years for over 20 years I have seen all the changes and it is certainly becoming more professional. I know many people who have years of experience but have not got the confidence to update their qualifications. These are great people and I personally believe all nurseries need a mixture of experienced and qualified people. I have a big fear of maths. I have decided I am still doing the Foundation Degree but not through the route of Graduate Leader. Once I have completed the degree and providing I pass it, I might then consider doing my maths but it will be my own decision and not because I felt pressured into doing it. I really admire all of you on here who did your maths later in life. Well done to you all. :o

 

Rosepetal

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Hi Rosepetal,

 

Just catching up with past posts having been away.

 

I too am starting E115 in October and have had to sign an agreement saying I will gain EYPS within 5 years of obtaining the FD. This was not the case when I first started. Typical though of the LEA to change the goal posts. If I had refused I'm sure there would be no money to complete the FD and I'd have been stuck having completed just 2 courses of the degree.

 

I think I will have to do maths too. I can't honestly remember if I passed them all those years ago............fingers crossed.

 

I'd be interested in knowing how you are funding the rest of your drgree, if not with the GLF?

 

Good luck with what ever you choose.

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Hi Dublinbay,

 

I am being funded by my local early years funding people, (sorry can't remember their proper name) they have funding for practitioners who want to gain level 3 and level 4 qualifications but they have a small amount of funding for practitioners who want to do the FD but not commit themselves to the EYPS. I know if I want to progress once I complete the FD at some point I may have to do the EYPS, but as I am not entirely sure what I will do if I pass the FD. I know I do not really want to head a children's centre and I won't be going to get QTS. I have a back ground as an assessor, so i might go down that route and also train to be a tutor. At the moment I manage a smaller nursery which I am enjoying, but I don't think I would want to manage a bigger nursery. So if I had to leave my job due to not having EYPS , I would then consider going back to assessing or being a family support worker. Family support workers is something I have seen and heard about quite alot recently. I am not entirely sure what qualifications etc you need for the post or what their job role exactly is. But it is something I would look into. So as yuo can see at the moment I am a little unsure of what I plan to do. Everything depends on if I achieve passing the FD. Which I think I have about another two to two and half years to complete.

 

I am sure I will probably catch up with you at some point on the E115 as I know we have to have meeting conferences on line when the course starts.

 

Do you mind if I ask you did you get any funding for resources etc when you did your E123 and E124. I personally didn't but I know lots of people who did. When I phoned and asked how do I apply for funding to buy books, a computer etc, I was told I was not entitled to anything. I just wondered how some people got funding for resources and some people were told no. At the moment I have used the family computer which I ended up having to do a timetable for to ensure I got my work done and assignments etc. The family were fine and very supportive. But For E115 I am getting my own computer but paying for it myself. It just seems unfair that lots of people from my own area got funding for computers and books etc and others didn't. I do think it is great though we do get funding to complete the degree other wise I would not have been able to do it.

 

Won't be long now until we get the results of our E123 and E124. :o

 

Rosepetal

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Hi

I have been following this thread with interest :o

I started studying with the OU in 2003 when they first introduced the Foundation Degree. At that time I got funding from the DfES. It was a 'package' whereby they funded the cost of study for the first two years and provided a laptop and printer on loan for three years.

 

I had E123/124 funded under the scheme but then my 'time for funding' was up and I had the choice of self financing, finding alternative funding or giving up my study! I have tried all avenues to gain funding but have failed! It seems that different areas have different stipulations. To gain funding from the transformation fund and more recently the graduate leader fund I had to give a committment to gain EYPS within 2 years of completing the FD. That is a committment I am not prepared to make as I have no interest in gaining EYPS.

 

I continued with my study with the OU and have completed E243, E230, E115, E215 and graduated with the FD in 2006. The OU listened to the student requests to offer a BA in Early Years and new course were offered as of this year. I am now nearing the end of KE312 and all being well with have a BA in October. I plan to do one final course (EK311) starting in February 09 to 'up' my BA to BA (Hons).

 

I admit to being quite envious when I hear about EYDCP's providing funding when my area is a 'no no!'.

The OU offer a budget account whereby the cost of the course is spread over the time you study. Since E124 I have been totally self financed and just have a direct debit going out of my account each month. On a month to month basis it's not too bad but I daren't go back and add up the total cost of the course I have paid for!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I will be interested to see what happens in 2015 to settings who do not have an EYPS. If I succeed in getting my 'HOns' I will be level 6 . Appendix 2 in the statutory framework of the EYFS which details ratios it refers to 'where a person with Qualified Teacher Status, Early Years Professional Status or another suitable level 6 qualification (which is full and relevant and defined by the CWDC) ' so it looks to me as though settings with staff qualifed to level 6 but not necessarily EYPS might be OK. I would be interested to know how others interpret this xD

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Hi Rosepetal,

 

My LEA offered me funding for books etc but only if they were compulsory. I needed a letter from my tutor saying this was so and I had to pay for them myself and sent them the receipts. As you know the OU supply the materials so I didn't need their funding. The only person I know who got a laptop on loan from the OU was dyslexic and this was of course applied for through the OU and not her LEA.

 

My LEA also offered a small bursary to cover me should I ever need time off for study which I thought was pretty good. Coming up to assignment due dates can be quite frantic and knowing I can take a day here and there is good to know. Can't remember how much this was but I didn't apply for it - it was offered.

 

It's a shame the early years funding teams are so different in what they offer. I'd have thought they would be more helpful in loaning out equipment such as laptops etc to help us become the highly qualified people they require. You could try applying again or maybe asking your EY advisors if they could help. I know what its like having to wait for turns on the computer. My children seem to do most of their homework on the computer.....whats happened to pen & paper????

 

The results of my E123 are out on 6th August and I am working on E124 tma3 at the moment. I have done very well with grades of 78 for E123 but have only managed 68's for the E124 tmas. Shouldn't complain really as they are all still passes and at the end of the day thats all I really want to do.........PASS!!!!

 

I hope to see you around on the conferences Rosepetal. I know Deb is also starting the E115 so it will be good to support each other there as well as on this forum.

 

Hope you get the computer thing sorted out soon and good luck for result day! :o

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Hi Geraldine,

 

I read your post with an open-mouth in how much you have had to fund your studies. Can the FD be completed in 2 years (even when you started) and if not, it was totally wrong of the DfES to only offer funding for part of a course. You are obviously very committed and I am full of admiration for you.

 

I have, of course, had to commit to gaining EYPS in order to recieve more funding. This seems a long way off at the moment and I must confess it was someting I didn't really want to do. My other option was to give up studying and repay the funding recieved so far back to the LEA, as I absolutely couldn't afford to finance it myself. 'Caught between a rock and a hard place' comes to mind here!!

 

I have been looking at the FD pathway and talking to people about the various courses they have done for the FD and beyond. Some choose difference courses which ultimately end up in the same qualification. I wondered, Geraldine, if you would list the courses you have done and perhaps say why you choose the ones you have.

 

The last paragraph of your post was interesting. I would interpret this the same as you and unless it is changed between now and 2015 then people who do not want to gain EYPS but like yourself will have an alternative level 6 should be covered. Well spotted!! :o

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Hi Dublinbay

I don't think the FD can be completed in 2 years.

I have been a 'guinea pig' all the way through my OU studies in that every course I have done has been a first presentation but I have got used to that now. It has just added to the overall length of my study. I didn't do anything last year as there were no courses to do! My current course was offered for the first time in February this year and my final course is starting for the first time next year.

 

I am, at a risk of sounding selfish, in a way doing it all 'for me'. I knew many moons ago that I wanted to work with children and left school after my O levels. I had been accepted at a residential college to study for my NNEB so I didn't even stay on at school to do A levels as they were not needed by the college. I had to be 18 to go to college so had a year after school working in a boarding school before going to college and as they say the rest is history.

 

I have seen my sons go through university and I just decided to give it a go myself! I would be lying if I said I had never thought of giving up my study but it is actually my youngest son who has supported me more than anyone else. He watched me waltz across the stage in my gown when i graduated with the FD and all being well he will be there again next year when I get my BA (Hons).

 

It may be worth mentioning here that the OU do their own financial support/bursary deals but it is 'means tested' and unfortunately I don't qualify :o

 

To answer you question about my course choices here goes:

E123/124 compulosry for FD but also results in 'Certificate in Early Years Practice' (level 4)

 

The choice part comes in for your level 2 studies and I chose E243 Inclusive education and E230 English Maths and Science in the Early Years. I really wanted to do the English Maths and Science and in order to do so I had to also choose E243 as they come as 'a pair' each worth 30 points.

The alternative is, I think, U212 which is a 60 point course and I have heard nothing but fantastic views on it from those who have studied it.

 

E115 and 215 are compulsory for the FD

My current KE312 is the compulsory level 3 course for the BA

My planned EK311 is the compulsory level 3 to top up for the BA (HOns)

 

I am not keen on exams!!! and another deciding factor in my choice of level 2 course was that U212 has an exam and E243/230 don't! However, you can't get all the way to BA without an exam so on October 10th this year I will be sitting my first exam since the year dot!!

 

Gosh that sounds very garbled!! The only choice with the OU is with your level 2 courses for the FD after that it depends if you want to go for BA in EY or BA in childhood and youth studies - if you go for the latter then U212 is compulsory.

 

If this is as clear as mud give me a shout and I will try again!!!!!

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Hi everyone

 

Didn't realize quite how lucky I have been!

 

Have been funded by local LEA so far for E123, E124 and for October E115 - have not had to commit to achieving EYPS, like you I do not know what I will want to do after hopefully achieving the FD, to me that is my current goal and is by no means certain. I have loved studying but there have been times when I have found it incredibly hard work and wondered whether it was worth the impact on family life.

 

Am a bit anxiuos about E115, some comments have not been very positive! But am so looking forward to getting my results for E124.

 

I initially received a bursary from my LEA as well as funding the course.

 

On my first OU course E123, the OU wrote to me to offer me a computer worth £500, grabbed it with both hands. Has been wonderful. I don't remember having put my family income down anywhere but may have done.

 

Also received a further £600 bursary from the OU recently to help with study, I think it was for carrying on with the second year?? Did E123 first, then E124.

 

My colleague and I have also applied for £500 from the Graduate Leader fund for Study Leave, which is paid to the setting and then to us over the year, I believe we can apply each year.

 

It really doesn't seem fair, if this is not the same across the country, I know how much it means to me.

 

Look forward to supporting each other on E115 in October.

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Thanks Geraldine for explaining about the courses you have chosen. I don't like exams either but may have to grit my teeth and do U212 as I have heard great things about it too. Anyway, I have plenty of time to make my decisions but it was good to see what other people are doing and what's available.

 

Fingers crossed for you and your October exam. You must remember to let us know how it goes.

 

Thanks again. :o

 

Deb, you seem to be one of the lucky ones with a very generous LEA with deep pockets. It's a shame its not the same for everyone.

 

I'm also looking forward to supporting each other for the E115. xD

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