News - Analysis

Government picks NFER to test four-year-olds despite teachers' opposition

Angeline Albert (11-Apr-18)

The Department for Education (DfE) has chosen NFER to deliver its controversial baseline tests for four-year-olds starting school, despite anger from teachers who have vowed to stop the assessments being rolled out. The.....

A thousand children's centres close after falling off 'Government list of priorities'

Michaela Chirgwin (05-Apr-18)

Over 1,000 Sure Start children’s centres across the country have closed since 2009, twice as many as the Government has officially reported, according to research by the Sutton Trust. The report ‘Stop Start’.....

Funding for 30 hours childcare based on old data, says Treasury Committee

Michaela Chirgwin (26-Mar-18)

The Treasury Committee has published a Select Committee report on childcare, and the message to Government is very clear - current funding levels of the 30 hours ‘free’ childcare scheme are ‘unsustainable’, with hourly funding figures.....

Free breakfast spending follows PM's cap on free school dinners

Angeline Albert (19-Mar-18)

Children at 1,770 schools in disadvantaged areas are to benefit from investment in free school breakfasts, the Government has announced - only days after a vote in Parliament introduced a cap to curb children’s entitlement to free.....

Early years sector sees qualifications fall and high staff turnover

Melissa McAlees (15-Mar-18)

A ‘recruitment crisis’ in nurseries could see half of highly-qualified staff retiring within 25 years, new research suggests. The Education Policy Institute’s (EPI) report ‘Early years workforce: a fragmented.....

Childcare vouchers deadline postponed for another six months

Michaela Chirgwin (14-Mar-18)

After a three-hour Commons debate, the Government has announced it is postponing the scrapping of the popular Childcare Vouchers Scheme, for at least six months. The timing for ending the voucher scheme.....

Councils receive extra money to deliver 30-hours 'free' childcare

Melissa McAlees (12-Mar-18)

Nearly all local authorities across England will receive new Government grants to support the delivery of 30-hours childcare for three- and four-year-olds, however some councils will receive less than £20,000. The.....

High court ruling: Theresa May defends 'unlawful' air quality near schools and nurseries

Angeline Albert (21-Feb-18)

Prime Minister Theresa May was forced to defend the Government’s air quality plans in PMQs - only hours after a High Court judge ruled ‘unlawful’ her Government’s failure to tackle illegal air pollution levels in 45 local authorities......

Seven thousand more disadvantaged children to get 'free' nursery place

Sue Learner (12-Feb-18)

Seven thousand more disadvantaged two-year-olds will be eligible for ‘free’ childcare, according to the new childcare minister. Nadhim Zahawi has announced more children from low income families will be able.....

Peter Rabbit film 'wrong' to show 'allergy bullying' scene

Michaela Chirgwin (12-Feb-18)

A controversial scene in the new film Peter Rabbit, which depicts a man with an allergy being ‘bullied’, has led to charities and parents calling for people to boycott the film. Allergy support groups voiced.....

Children's minister attends men-only dinner where hostesses were 'groped'

Sue Learner (24-Jan-18)

The new children’s and families minister Nadhim Zahawi has been criticised for attending a men-only charity gala where ‘tall, thin and pretty’ women were hired as hostesses and told to wear skimpy clothes and ‘sexy, black shoes’. Mr.....

Children's centres 'undermined' by lack of Ofsted inspections

Michaela Chirgwin (22-Jan-18)

Over 1,000 children’s centres in England have not been inspected for over five years, resulting in inadequate services and an increase in centre closures, according to a new report by Action for Children. Charities.....

Parents pay price for Government's 'free' childcare as nurseries charge for nappies

Angeline Albert (18-Jan-18)

Most childcare providers (65 per cent) which offer 30 hours ‘free’ childcare are charging parents extra for nappies, food and other services because of a lack of money from the Government to pay for the scheme......

Parents angry at 'cheeky' nursery rule dictating children's shoe brands

Angeline Albert (15-Jan-18)

Parents have expressed anger at a 'condescending' and ‘cheeky’ letter written by a nursery which says children can only wear Start Rite or Clarks shoes to nursery. Sparkly shoes ‘don’t support.....

Nursery sector has high hopes for social mobility with new Education Secretary

Sue Learner (09-Jan-18)

The nursery sector hopes new Education Secretary Damian Hinds will champion early years policies which tackle disadvantage, due to his previous interest in the social mobility agenda. Damian Hinds has taken.....

Fear of growing inequality as poorer parents miss out on formal childcare

Michaela Chirgwin (03-Jan-18)

An early years charity has warned of growing inequality as new figures show that under half of poorer families, earning less than £10,000 a year, are using formal childcare. The results of a parent survey.....

'Devastated' Montessori nursery closes after lack of funding

Melissa McAlees (03-Jan-18)

Parents of children attending a Hertfordshire nursery have been left ‘truly heartbroken’ after the setting was forced to close its doors for the final time just days before Christmas. Bishops Stortford Montessori.....

School nurseries to take more disadvantaged children with £50m cash boost

Michaela Chirgwin (15-Dec-17)

Education secretary, Justine Greening, has vowed to tackle the gap in social mobility by announcing a £50m cash injection to create more places for ‘disadvantaged children’ at school nurseries. The move.....

Nurseries angry at Ofsted's 'schoolification' approach

Michaela Chirgwin (13-Dec-17)

The new chief inspector of Ofsted has angered the early years community with the findings of her first annual report, which suggests a significant amount of primary schools are not improving year on year due to the ‘weaknesses’ of.....

EYFS teaching is 'failing' reception aged children, says Ofsted

Michaela Chirgwin (30-Nov-17)

Ofsted has criticised the EYFS framework for reception children, saying there needs to be more of a focus on traditional subjects, such as reading, writing and numbers so the curriculum is more in line with Year 1. The.....