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Changes to the statutory framework, and assessment


Steve
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Thanks to @LincsMont


The Early Years Foundation Stage


15. The DfE is in the process of making changes to the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and, more importantly, to the non-statutory guidance Development matters. When these changes have been finalised separate guidance will be provided for inspectors on the implications of the changes.


16. Separate guidance will also be provided on assessment and progress, and information for inspectors on changes to the publication of data on the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.

 

Page 7 of Ofsted's 'Subsidiary Guidance' published on 16th August.

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It's more likely to be in the schools' inspection documentation because the issue of measuring progress (which this part of the document has always been focused on) is far more important to a schools inspection than it is in an EY Register inspection as you have 3 statutory national data sets to consider in a schools inspection and none in EYFS before the Profile, which is primarily a school assessment. This document is actually catching up with changes to the schools inspection framework which have already come into effect. Sir Michael Wilshaw has indicated that in his opinion there is no means for accurately measuring progress in schools including the EYFS phase and this is why there are rumblings around changing the EYFSP to something more measurable. You may recall the thread I started about consultations on statutory baseline assessments in reception.(To which I hope you have responded!!)

 

I don't think we should be seeing conspiracies in this - the DfE have signalled that there will be changes in the EYFS documents but the progress on changing them is always pretty slow. The docs for inspecting settings on the EYR, for example, have not been updated yet in the light of the guidance given to inspectors from Ofsted and their inspection providers (Tribal or Prospects) not to use Development Matters as it is a non statutory document. They are probably removing these references throughout and updating documents as they go. With the new framework coming in for EYR and Childcare register inspections, i.e. changing satisfactory to requires improvement like everyone else has, no doubt all the documents pertaining to those will be changed to coincide. Apparently inspectors will have training this Autumn so that would make sense.

 

Development matters is and has always been non statutory. If you wanted to use any other framework to measure progress and development you can. Maybe this is why it is being removed from a statutory regulatory framework as it doesn't support a level playing field for anyone who doesn't use it really.

 

Cx

Edited by catma
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I'm interested to know how many well used and tested frameworks there are Catma. Or even what actually constitutes a framework. Can that stretch from the ideas a manager dreamed up the morning before as to what they would like their children to be doing, to a well-documented pedagogical approach, or are there guidelines and approval processes.

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Well I think in the broadest sense, yes it could. For example someone training me not too long ago said a setting could use the Mary Sheridan child development book if they really wanted!

 

The only places you must assess statutorily are the 2 year old progress check and the EYFSP. Everything else is resting on the professional knowledge and training of the individuals working with the children. The progress check actually has no statutory criteria to check against and I suspect was meant to link more closely with health checks in terms of developmental norms although that hasn't ever really happened and the EYFSP has the statutory ELGs and really didn't ever have anything to do with dev matters.

 

DfE made this clear in the recent annex to more affordable childcare where they specify that learning journals etc are not required. Slightly poor quality copy attached

 

(I'm not saying I agree with this by the way!!! Just exploring the specific nature of the facts as they stand!)

 

Cx

Doc2.docx

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No of course Catma - I realise you're not speaking as an advocate, but as someone who knows a lot about the subject. That's the spirit in which I'm asking the questions - out of interest not hostility! :1b

 

One thing that occurs to me is that this makes it quite difficult for Ofsted inspectors who might be being presented, on the day of an inspection, with a framework or system they have never encountered before. They'll then have to try to work out if they feel the tracking/monitoring methodology is sound or snake-oil. Or is that beyond their scope, and they simply follow a few children records through, ask some questions, and then decide whether or not the staff and managers have a good grasp on the child's progress?

 

Edit: sorry, just to elaborate a bit, after reading your document. I realise written records aren't required (except for the two year check and EYFSP) but formative ongoing knowledge of the progress of their children is something Ofsted inspections do involve, and practically for most settings that does mean some form of record keeping. Which again means that some form of system will be being used, so the question of inspectors analysing the framework/methodology is still appropriate. If that makes sense...

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Thanks for this Catma it is interesting isn't it looking at this annex I am reminded on another post recently on here about the quality of a learning journey and that actually when the inspector came to my setting she did use and comment on them and yet they don't have to be there. Also thinking about my own advice from LEA saying I needed all these policies (across the time and then checking when they knew Ofsted was due) and then when the inspector came being told that they were too comprehensive and a little in-accessible to parents because of this! :ph34r: (they were PLA ones)

 

I think the big problem in EY practice has always been the polarities of practice that are acceptable, the ones of us that do a thorough job always feel marginalised when we see others doing, in our opinion, less and getting the same or better judgements. Essentially then does this mean as a setting that only takes rising threes (so way after two year check should have been done) and children that then leave for school before they need the assessment at the end of reception year does this mean I actually don't have to keep any assessments (again I am not saying I agree or that I will just a question)

 

I worry about people hiding bad practice behind frameworks that are never a level playing field and yet you can't ignore that having a certain amount of autonomy works very well too.

Edited by Johanna1
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Essentially then does this mean as a setting that only takes rising threes (so way after two year check should have been done) and children that then leave for school before they need the assessment at the end of reception year does this mean I actually don't have to keep any assessments

 

For 3 and 4 year olds - in between the Progress Check and Profile - you need to observe, assess, track progress

and plan for further learning and development, and communicate to parents about their child's development and

provide them with guidance, as appropriate, on how to support their child's learning at home.

 

I wouldn't be able to remember what I've seen, heard, thought and said if I didn't keep some kind of record. We

don't do learning journeys because we spend most of our days away from the building, but we do all of the above.

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How do you record this then Wildflowers??

 

I should stress I really wasn't not going to assess lol I was just saying it says no learning journey or other similar document required so this could be interpreted as the need to record nothing!!

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To my understanding it can't really mean recording nothing. Let's say I had a brain like a computer

and remembered everything accurately - if I ended up in coma there wouldn't be continuity for the

children as the person taking over wouldn't have access to my brain. Also there would be no evidence

of assessment work taking place for inspectors to look at!

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Well I think in the broadest sense, yes it could. For example someone training me not too long ago said a setting could use the Mary Sheridan child development book if they really wanted!

 

The only places you must assess statutorily are the 2 year old progress check and the EYFSP. Everything else is resting on the professional knowledge and training of the individuals working with the children. The progress check actually has no statutory criteria to check against and I suspect was meant to link more closely with health checks in terms of developmental norms although that hasn't ever really happened and the EYFSP has the statutory ELGs and really didn't ever have anything to do with dev matters.

 

DfE made this clear in the recent annex to more affordable childcare where they specify that learning journals etc are not required. Slightly poor quality copy attached

 

(I'm not saying I agree with this by the way!!! Just exploring the specific nature of the facts as they stand!)

 

Cx

 

Thanks for adding that catma! :1b

 

What an interesting discussion in this thread - don't think that I have anything remotely useful to add :blink: :1b

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I do agree with you Wildflowers I just feel that this is where ambiguity doesn't help. I will keep doing my learning journeys as I feel they work for us however I remember another thread on here where someone was saying that they were concerned how little another setting had done in terms of recording development/progress and the fact that there were no links to EYFS. Now I can honestly say I have been in the same position when looking at previous nursery records or trying to get settings to work with us when we 'share' children.

 

I think the DM statements are the same some people will use them some wont and will use good alternatives or that use them to give a general idea about skill levels and there will be those that don't use anything. I am not saying any of those approaches are more 'right' than the other just saying that they will 'look' very different. I feel that when there is such ambiguity my concern would be that 'not ideal' practice will hide behind it.

 

Hopefully that is what Ofsted is there to pick up on but I have to say they don't always or if their priority is something else then again the this may cause inconsistency in grading. I know I am perhaps a little cynical about these things and didn't mean to offend anyone

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Hopefully that is what Ofsted is there to pick up on but I have to say they don't always or if their priority is something else then again the this may cause inconsistency in grading. I know I am perhaps a little cynical about these things and didn't mean to offend anyone

 

I know exactly where you are 'coming from' - perhaps we should form a 'club' - cynics anonymous or somesuch - think we would soon have plenty of members! :D

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Well I think in the broadest sense, yes it could. For example someone training me not too long ago said a setting could use the Mary Sheridan child development book if they really wanted!

I have just been reading her book and was going to discuss her age-related milestones with my team next week, as adding another perspective to the DMs. Do you think her development signposts are still regarded as worthy of note and worth using, or were you meaning that they weren't?

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No of course Catma - I realise you're not speaking as an advocate, but as someone who knows a lot about the subject. That's the spirit in which I'm asking the questions - out of interest not hostility! :1b

 

One thing that occurs to me is that this makes it quite difficult for Ofsted inspectors who might be being presented, on the day of an inspection, with a framework or system they have never encountered before. They'll then have to try to work out if they feel the tracking/monitoring methodology is sound or snake-oil. Or is that beyond their scope, and they simply follow a few children records through, ask some questions, and then decide whether or not the staff and managers have a good grasp on the child's progress?

 

Edit: sorry, just to elaborate a bit, after reading your document. I realise written records aren't required (except for the two year check and EYFSP) but formative ongoing knowledge of the progress of their children is something Ofsted inspections do involve, and practically for most settings that does mean some form of record keeping. Which again means that some form of system will be being used, so the question of inspectors analysing the framework/methodology is still appropriate. If that makes sense...

Of course!! I know that!!

 

Re Inspections - well I suppose Inspectors do that a lot in schools where the school can use any system they fancy...I think I'm going to be a bit jury's out until I get more information re Inspections to be honest. But whatever you have would be looked at, regardless of what the minimum requirements are I suppose.

"Or is that beyond their scope, and they simply follow a few children records through, ask some questions, and then decide whether or not the staff and managers have a good grasp on the child's progress?" That is more the current system I think...It's a sample to get a sense of the big picture really.

 

The formative ongoing knowledge is required under para 1.7 of the Framework but it doesn't require it anywhere to be written and that's the key bit here I think.

 

1.7 Practitioners must consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and must use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development. ....But throughout the early years, if a child’s progress in any prime area gives cause for concern, practitioners must discuss this with the child’s parents and/or carers and agree how to support the child.

 

Ultimately you can do as you find best - for example, risk assessments are not required but if it works for you to check things more regularly then you can, the same with written paperwork. For some less is more. If children are making sound progress and achieving without written paperwork who's to say that is wrong I suppose!

 

 

I have just been reading her book and was going to discuss her age-related milestones with my team next week, as adding another perspective to the DMs. Do you think her development signposts are still regarded as worthy of note and worth using, or were you meaning that they weren't?

She's still in print and in use so why not! Children's development doesn't vary that much regardless of the framework/s in place!! I still use it when I need to check something.

 

Cx

Edited by catma
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She's still in print and in use so why not! Children's development doesn't vary that much regardless of the framework/s in place!! I still use it when I need to check something.

 

Cx

 

Is there anyone else you recommend reading? although I have been in early Years for 8 years now, I was originally a secondary school teacher and we didn't really do anything on child development. Mind you, that was back in the Jurassic age. So I do use the Dms to guide me, but am open to other things......if I knew what they were!

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The ECAT tracking is, in my opinion, very thorough for language development. I use Mary Sheridan really if I need to check developmental norms. I'm sure some other practitioners will have texts they used in trainings too which they may be able to suggest!

Cx

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Please could I have the title for the Mary Sheidan book and is there a current one? I have to say I think some practitioners get hung up on the DM statements and we need to consider the developmental norms and the individual child. I'm not sure pulling the DM statements will have a positive impact. At least there is consistency for all with having it!

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