A “significant minority” of children are not ready for school at the age of five because of poor standards of early education, according to Ofsted. This is from the Telegraph…
More than a third of infants struggle to count to 10, hold a pencil properly, write simple words or take turns in class amid a shortage of high-quality provision, it was claimed.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector, said too many nurseries and childminders were “not improving fast enough to give children the best start in life”.
In all, the watchdog warned that four-in-10 early education providers were not good enough, with children in the poorest areas most likely to be given substandard early years care.
The comments came as Ofsted published new research outlining the measures nurseries, pre-schools and childminders had to take to bring themselves up to scratch.
It told how the best providers used imaginative methods to give children a grounding in basic literacy and numeracy and make sure they interact properly with their peers.
This included one nursery that encouraged children to spend real money in a snack area and use china mugs and plates to get youngsters to adapt to “real life situations”.
Another provider developed a “superhero skills school” to get boys more interested in education, with children learning literacy by spelling superheroes’ names and using their muscles during physical activities.
One nursery asked children to attend a “tea club” at the end of each afternoon to evaluate the day’s activities informally and used “exit interviews” with older children to evaluate the nursery’s performance.
Others placed a high value on training, including some that sent staff on trips to countries such as Italy, Denmark and Scotland to learn from the best nurseries.
Writing in the report, Sir Michael said children’s early years were vital to build a “secure foundation for future personal and academic success”.
But he added: “A significant minority of children are simply not ready for school when they arrive in reception classes and too many do not get the high-quality provision they need to make a secure start.
“Our inspections show a strong correlation between low-quality provision and poorer areas, particularly among childminders.”
The Ofsted report – “Getting it right first time” – quoted figures showing that 36 per cent of children currently start school reception classes without a “good level of development”, although it represents an improvement from 51 per cent in 2008.
Are you surprised by the findings from Ofsted in this report? Is it the responsibility of early education providers, parents or primary schools to improve things and what should they do about it?