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Have Your Say on the New Early Years Foundation Stage Before March 18th 2021

The new draft of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework and accompanied draft statutory instrument was this month published by the Department for Education (DfE). The publishing of this draft framework initiates a request for comments period that will close on March 18th 2021, as required by the Childcare Act 2006.

Click to read the new draft of the EYFS framework

This new Early Years Foundation Stage framework is due to be implemented from September this year, and will change the rules and requirements that settings and professionals must meet and how they will be assessed.

DfE aren’t seeking views on all areas of the new draft framework, but rather specifically those highlighted in red in the framework here.

These changes, once finalised as the rest of the new EYFS framework has been, will be mandatory for all professionals, so do not miss out on this key opportunity to make your voice heard before March 18th!

Besides this request for comment, the rest of the EYFS has undergone major change as part of this 2021 update. We have gone through the framework to help you identify what each of these changes are HERE.

Meanwhile, we have picked out 11 of the areas for which comment is being sought before publication of the final “Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage” in September and have listed them below:

1. Section 1.2, page 6:

The new Development Matters5 , non-statutory curriculum guidance for the EYFS, is available to support providers in their delivery of the EYFS learning and development requirements. As this document is non-statutory, Ofsted and inspectorates of independent schools will not have regard to it in carrying out inspections and it is up to providers to decide how they approach the curriculum.

2. Section 1.8 onwards, page 10 - Changes to some of the Early Learning Goals:

1.8 The ELGs should not be used as a curriculum or in any way to limit the wide variety of rich experiences that are crucial to child development, from being read to frequently to playing with friends.

1.9 Instead, the ELGs should support teachers to make a holistic, best-fit judgement about a child’s development, and their readiness for year

1.10 When forming a judgement about whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, teachers should draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement. This is sufficient evidence to assess a child’s individual level of development in relation to each of the ELGs. Sources of written or photographic evidence are not required, and teachers are not required to record evidence.

3. Section 2.2 and 2.3 , p.17 – Assessing a child’s level of development using practitioner judgement, not physical evidence. Using it to inform a dialogue with year 1 teachers:

2.2 When assessing whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, practitioners should draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement and should not be required to prove this through collection of physical evidence.

2.3 Assessment should inform an ongoing dialogue between practitioners and year 1 teachers about each child’s learning and development, to support a successful transition to key stage 1.

4. 2.7 page 18- Reception baseline assessment:

2.7. The Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) is a short assessment, taken in the first six weeks in which a child starts reception.

2.8. The statutory guidance for the administration of the RBA is set out in Annex B. The guidance covers all intakes in reception within an academic year including during autumn, spring and summer terms.

5. 2.9 page 18- EYFS profiles being completed for those who have deferred entry from reception and remained in PVI’s:

In the final term of the year in which the child reaches age five, and no later than 30 June in that term, the EYFS Profile must be completed for each child. This includes children in reception classes and those who have deferred entry into school and remained in Ofsted registered (PVI) early years provision.

6. 3.20 page 25- Providers must follow their legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010:

Providers must follow their legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 including for the fair and equal treatment of practitioners regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

7. 3.27 – 3.37 page 27,28,29 - Changes in Staff: Child ratios and types of qualification:

This whole section contains specific changes to language and emphasises the use of “approved” qualifications.

8. 3.48 page 32 – Food and drink menus:

In addition, section 4 of ‘Example menus for early years settings in England’ (see footnote 54) includes guidance on menu planning, food safety, managing food allergies and reading food labels, which staff preparing food will find helpful in ensuring that children are kept safe.

9. 3.57 page 35 – Providers cannot increase the number of children on roll because they use an additional outside area:

Where the space standards are applied, providers cannot increase the number of children on roll because they additionally use an outside area. Forest and other exclusively (or almost exclusively) outdoor provision is not required to meet the space standards above as long as children’s needs can be met. For this kind of provision, indoor space requirements can be used as a guide for the minimum area needed.

10. 3.59 page 35 – Safety of sleeping children:

Sleeping children must be frequently checked to ensure that they are safe58 . Being safe includes ensuring that cots/bedding are in good condition and suited to the age of the child, and that infants are placed down to sleep safely in line with latest government safety guidance.

11. 3.79 page 40- a major addition that is inviting comment, Other Legal Duties under EYFS:

The EYFS requirements sit alongside other legal obligations and do not supersede or replace any other legislation which providers must still meet. For example, where provision is taking place in maintained schools there is other legislation in place with which headteachers, teachers and other practitioners must comply with. Other duties on providers include:

■ employment laws;

■ anti-discriminatory legislation;

■ health and safety legislation;

■ data collection regulations;

■ duty of care.

To feed in to the comment period on the latest round of changes to the EYFS framework, go to https://foundationyears.org.uk/2021/02/have-your-say-draft-eyfs-framework-statutory-instrument/

For your completely FREE checklist of changes to look out for in the new EYFS, the new guide by That Nursery Life is available here!

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