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Change To Statutory Starting Age


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Hi!

 

Can anyone help me? have heard some snippets of info that the starting age requirements will be changing in 2008 - does anyone have any info on this and the implications that it will hold? i have done some seaching on the internet to no avail!?

 

Thank you!!

Sara

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Hi

I'm not sure if this will help:

The ten year strategy for childcare. It's on the Every Child Matters Website:

 

http://www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/ (that is the home page)

 

http://www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/_files...08E1C161A9D.pdf

(That is the 10 year strategy outlined in 90 odd pages)

 

http://www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/_files...ADFFBD99C1E.pdf

(Leaflet for Parents)

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If you are referring to school sarah, I beleive the statutory starting age will be the SEPTEMBER following their 5th birthday and not the term following their 5th birthday as it is now. This means statutory school age will start in year 1 instead of the mishmash we a have now where some reception children are of stat age and some arent.

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Aha thast one of those questions. I dont think anyone actually knows what will happen when the EYFS curriculum is rolled out (is it 2008?).

 

If anyone does know id love to hear it too. I can see huge changes ahead and a huge impact on funding for schools, but all I can do is guess what might happen.

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Oooooh - not heard of this one even though I have read the 10 year strategy - obviously not very well - my eyes tend to glaze over at some points - all words and wonderful images but bottom line is will they put in enough money.

Would love anyone to shed some more light on this as it is a really important piece of information that I have not taken on board -Peggy are you there on this one?

Nikki

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The schools in my area are now taking the children in eve earlier . My grandaughter will be four in the June and starts in the September full time!! The school is changing to one ful time intake only instead of two intakeas and partime. This will have an impact on the playgroup I run as we will lose some of our funded childrena term earlier than usual. We are lucky (some say) as we are registered to take two years olds already.

 

Sue

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Oooooh - not heard of this one even though I have read the 10 year strategy - obviously not very well - my eyes tend to glaze over at some points - all words and wonderful images but bottom line is will they put in enough money. 

Would love anyone to shed some more light on this as it is a really important piece of information that I have not taken on board -Peggy are you there on this one?

Nikki

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Not yet Nikki, up to my eyeballs in Kitemark-Quality Assurance work, re-writing operational plan ( at the thinking stage at present) and playing catch up for the Paperwork free day I insisted we all have over the half term. :o

I will get to it soon, although I am holding out a bit on reading too much gumpf ( especially as a 10 year strategy is bound to change over it's duration) because I think the new EYFS will over write anything else previously written, if you get what I mean. Talk about new initiatives overload xD

 

 

Peggy

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Hi Nikki

Ive read so much stuff in the last week I cant remember what Ive read where. I did read this somwehere, but I locate it now? Errr no.

 

There seems to be a lot of proposals, debates, reports, consultations etc etc coming out almost very other wekk at the moment , the mind does boggle keeping up with what's what.

 

I guess things will start to look marginally clearer than mud over the next few months....

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Thanks a lot you guys - there does seem to be so much going on at the moment that I am not too sure that anyone knows where it will all land. So I guess like eveyrone else - read, digest and watch what happens.

 

Hope your quality assurance is going ok Peggy - having done mine last year I know the pain of collating paperwork together in THEIR format is a flaming pain, although I understand this is to change - but I probably won't go to renew mine as I feel I could best spend my time working on the ground level with my children. Still all is not lost, am off tomorrow for another initiative, Surrey are now deciding to do their own!!!!!!!!!!! Just who is going to pay for all this, who is going to support this and when will it ever stop - I just see a huge amount of money, resources and expertise being wasted on one continual initiative after another - trouble is they never seem to get the first intiative off the ground before the goal posts change and the next initiative comes along.

 

Nikki

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I couldn't agree more with you Nikki

I feel as though I am constantly galloping just trying to keep up-never really having chance to actually do so. I wonder if the powers that be came onto this site and read all the posts on here they might start listening to the people who really know what early years are all about? Ha-fat chance!

I don't mind change as long as it has a purpose and it is not just doing it for the sake of it. And a lot of what has happened in the past and is proposed for the future has been and will be for the good. I just want to get the opportunity to put it all into practice for a while before it goes again.

We haven't even had all the B23 matters training yet in Stockport-I wonder if it is worth it with the new curriculum that is being proposed?

Linda

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Our schools take them in the September after they are 4 in the August. We only have one intake so all children that are 4 between September and the following August go to school in the next September. It's really hard on the children that are only just 4 in the August. The parents are allowed to defer the children born between April and August to start in the January. but they don't I'm afraid as the schools love to say they are fine and will adapt. The teachers have to pay for it in the reception when some of the little one have only just mastered going to the toilet, let alone the ABC. sorry teachers I know you all do a good job, but some little ones really aren't ready for school.

Our local schools are also having a re-shuffle the next few years as we are changing from 1st and middle schools back to infants and juniors, with our secondary schools going back to taking year 7's which at the moment are in our middle schools. We are all sitting waiting to see what happens as the first schools are the ones to loose a year, the other schools either gain or come out even on their years. We are waiting to see how many schools take up nursery classes to fill the empty space.

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I couldn't agree more - I have a nursery class in an Infant school and we have just changed our admission arrangements. We now have two intakes a year rather than three, bringing in the Summer birthdays much earlier than we would have done in the past and making children full time a term earlier too. Although this is only my second year in a nursery class (having taught early admissions Rec before), I have noticed a massive difference in what I'm doing with the children. Our local preschool has had to lose five members of staff because of us poaching their children, and we are spending all of our time toilet training, showing them how to find their coats, let alone put them on - I could go on. The children are lovely but we are tearing ourselves in hundreds of directions at once and I do not feel that we are giving these young children the quality they so deserve. I totally agree with you when you say they are not ready for school. To top it all off, we have a head teacher who is obsessed with figures and results and isn't too sure on play!

Sorry - off my soap box now!!

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Dear Janine

How great to hear that. Yes the littler ones do need far more care and I believe they need more than 1 teacher plus a TA - at least in pre school we have to give them a much higher ratio - one that they rightly deserve but it is still hard sometimes running around even on a 1-6 ratio when they are crying, wetting themselves and want a bit of individual personal attention or god forbid me saying, even a hug and a listening ear, which after all is what they should have. I feel ragged sometimes and don't feel I have given my best so what the teachers feel when they may have an immature group of 30 who may need more individual attention. Yes of course they adapt, but is this right? Top down pressure is being brought down to the foundation stage, when will we allow them to enjoy their "work", when will we allow them to develop in their own way. Life is for living and I am sure if you asked any 4 year old what they want to do they would they tell you. Would they want to spend their time mastering writing and reading - probably not - they want to be spending time with their friends, having a good time, playing, using their imagination, having a laugh, having the opportunity of exploring the paint, feeling what it is like on their feet, arms hands. Afterall when can we be really free to express ourselves in the way we want. I would love to be a 4 year old again - they shouldn't have to experience failure - only success and all that it brings. That doesn't mean they play/work aimlessly, we all strive to put in place a "curriculum" that meets the needs of the children - as we all know that does not come without hard work and planning, continual assessment and observation and we learn from the children on what works and sometimes what doesn't.

If children are to enter formal education sooner I would feel like giving up - some are obviously ready and I am happy to hand them over but others are not - I feel very sorry for them. However, the strategy seems to be lending itself to getting more children into school earlier although I cannot see any real evidence of the benefits. Although where the admission policy of entering school in September following their 5th birthday comes from I would love to know - seems to have reverted to the admission policies of 40 years ago when I was going to school!!!!! In many ways I think this is sound but what happens prior to this - who knows? Where do they go? Will schools take them in or will pre schools? I hope pre schools can take them for longer but I have to say in some instances they may not be equipped to do so. Perhaps the Government might put their money where their mouth is - but I believe this won't happen - they will use their easy financial option and talk about it loads, issue x number of consultations costing xx and then say we all need more qualifications and better premises and then not pay for it.

 

Oh dear I am waffling now - probably too much wine and the soap box has come out, so I will go now.

Nikki

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I agree with both janine and Nicola,

My concern also, with younger children in schools is the actual environement, which can only be described as "Institutionalised".

There are some fantastically resourced classrooms, fantastic teachers and TA's, and headteachers who value the learn through play ethos...BUT, the children are in an environment which they have to share with large numbers of other children and adults, ( some of whom they will never know their names) they have to conform to certain rules to maintain safety and order ( such as walk down the corridor on the left only), there has been recent posts of little ones participating ( sorry attending) large group assemblies. I don't think any young child .( under 6, in my view) should lose the chance to have a home from home childcare and educational environment. Somewhere where they can go to the loo when they need to, have a snack or drink as and when they need one, rest or even sleep when they need to. This experience is not always offered in Nursery's or large centres, and this should be addressed. Schools, purely by their physical environment alone cannot offer this.

I am of course biased because I own a small private preschool and therefore think I offer the best physical environment (which I make experiences as near to like home as possible).

 

Peggy

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This is obviously one of those issues which many people feel very passionate about, (including myself) but I do think we have to very careful about 'painting all schools with the same brush' as innappropriate, when this simply isnt the case.

 

Poor or innappropraite provision for many different reasons exists in all types of settings not just in schools. I have seen some fantasitc provision in schools that meet childrens needs in every way as good as any other kind of provision. I have also seen the opposite. I have also seen very poor quality in playgroups but that doesnt mean they all are and I wouldnt assume that to the case.

 

Many teachers in FS are stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand the rest of the early years sector critiscising our environmenet, (not enough staff, too formal, not udersatnding the needs of the children etc); and on the other the wider school sector also criticising what we do(not formal enough; too many staff; not understanding the needs of the wider school)! It can be a tremendously isolating position to be in and especially for the inexperienced or newly trained teacher (how often have we seen this on here?).

 

 

What endeared me to the forum many (well 3) years ago was its diverse community, where I could find mutual support from other teachers who understood my grumbles, but also learn about the difficulties challenges and issues of those working in different settings, which I knew were different from my own. I would like to think that we continue to do that, support and learn from each other and at the same time value the diversity of provision that we currently have, and acknowledge that we are all here because we want the best for the children in our care.

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Dear Mundia

You are perfectly right in what you say and I wholeheartedly agree there is a wide range of provision in both areas and most of it good and some not so good. I am sorry if my post upset - it was not meant - and I apologise - I think the point I was trying to make is that there are no rights or wrongs but I sometimes feel that when some of my children leave my group they still are very young and yet I know that many of them settle in to life in reception very quickly and taken on board all that is required. But I also know that some take a good couple of terms to settle. However, I also think that Peggy makes an important point about the environment - although I would have to say that in my experience all the reception units I have been into have been great although I always feel they could with a little more space. My environment is fantastic in some ways and ideal for preschoolers - lots of space in two large rooms in a bright airy building, electric windows centrally controlled by a thermostat, overlooking a beautfiul green and pond complete with a mating pair of swans, terrapins, canada geese and ducks - absolutely perfect - with some woods 100 yards away where we go on nature walks every Friday BUT we have to clear away every day which means that things like my role corner suffer, my boards, my construciton area are not always as I would like them and often we have to break from things which are going really well to clear away when it would be good to leave out and revisit the following day. And yet all the teachers who come in say that they would die for my space but also recognise the issues attached with having a very popular hall i.e. clearing away.

Of course teachers do a fantastic job and I do recognise that you are often between a rock and a hard place for the all the reasons you mentioned - I don't know what the answer is though - perhaps it is jsut that you can please some of the people some of the time, but never please all of the people all of the time.

Nikki

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Yes agree, Mundia, been there!

 

The important thing seems to be that we all do our best to do our best to provide appropriately for the children in our settings within the constraints that those settings place on us.

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I echo what Nichla has said, and apologies if I caused offence, this was not my intention. I enjoy the forum for the same reasons that Mundia states, and fully empathise with different expectations made on teachers working within the early years.

I just wish the governemt would listen to and learn from the experts such as Professor Tricia David, et al, and the educational systems in European countries where children do not attend formal educational establishments until age 6+.

 

I certainly don't want to be interpreted as undervaluing the great efforts, commitment, hard work and dedication of all professionals who work tirelessly to ensure the best possible provision for children within the early years sector.

 

Peggy

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have a look at the direction of travel document on the sure start site, this contains the current thinking on the EYFS. It doesn't as far as I can see say anything about starting earlier in school as in f1/f2. It does say that the STATUTORY school age when they have to be in an educational establishment (or home tutored etc etc) will become the sept after a child's 5th birthday. It also says that the EYFS will be removed from the NC ie be totally separate. (Although Bernadette Duffy was suggesting that this may be a bad thing for various reasons that made sense at the time but I can't recall now.) Bear in mind though that these are still recommendations. This wouldn't affect when children start a far as I can see as they will all start in Yr1 the sept after their 5th birthday just as they do now anyway. It woul just remove the mishmash as Mundia says of having some statutory age children in F2 and make them all continuously FS children til the end of the academic year

 

Maintained Schools admission policies are decided by LAs and in the case of church schools by their governing bodies. Children start the term they are 5 or they start in sept of that year. Some LA's start all chn in sept, some have 2 points of entry, some have 3. it's been like that for all my years of educational experience from well before any breath of the strategy/sure start/FS etc etc. but what has changed is the ethos and practice in many schools in relation to f2. There is now in many schools a segue from f1 to f2 and also now into Yr1 that is focussed on continuity of practice and care, that takes into account the needs of the individual children starting from where they are at and they are working hard to develop buildings, practice resourcing, staffing to reflect this. This is real progress and should be celebrated and encouraged.

 

:D Cx

Edited by catma
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