News - Analysis

'Misguided' DfE scraps SATs for seven-year-olds to test four-year-olds instead

Angeline Albert (15-Sep-17)

New Reception-year baseline tests for four-year-olds will be introduced from 2020, while SATs for seven-year-olds are to be scrapped from 2023. Children’s progress is currently measured between the end of.....

Headteachers concerned as children start school unable to use the toilet or speak in full sentences

Melissa McAlees (06-Sep-17)

Many children are starting primary school ‘not ready’ to take part in classroom activities, a new survey has found. Headteachers are concerned that children are starting school lacking the basic skills,.....

Nurseries call first day of 30 hours 'free' childcare a 'policy in chaos'

Michaela Mildenhall (01-Sep-17)

On the day the Government launches its 30 hours ‘free’ childcare scheme, childcare practitioners are warning they will be forced to charge parents to top up the Government’s underfunding of the scheme. From last Friday, working.....

Parents fear it's too late for a September '30 hour free' nursery place due to IT glitches on website

Angeline Albert (04-Aug-17)

Parents are worried their children will miss out on a 30-hour ‘free’ nursery place in September because families keep hitting brick walls when it comes to applying for it as a result of IT glitches on a government website. The.....

'No specific reason' 30-hour childcare scheme 'will not be a success', report finds

Melissa McAlees (17-Jul-17)

An evaluation of the 30-hour pilot has concluded that there is 'no specific reason' to believe that the policy will 'not be a success', even though almost half of nurseries reported limiting places in order to be able to offer extended.....

'Devastated' nurseries shut down after 'lousy' funding causes heavy losses

Angeline Albert (14-Jul-17)

Nurseries across England are closing because the Government’s 30 hour ‘free' childcare policy and mounting business pressures are forcing them out of business. Three and four-year-olds of working parents.....

London nursery group 'sick of qualifications snobbery' opts to call all staff nursery teachers

Sue Learner (11-Jul-17)

The head of the UK’s largest social enterprise nursery group has said she is “tired of being held back by a system that divides us by the snobbery of qualifications” and has decided to give all her staff the title of nursery teacher. June.....

England joins international PISA study using tablet-based tests on five-year-olds

Sue Learner (07-Jul-17)

The Department for Education has revealed that 20 schools and childcare settings in England are to take part in a pilot testing scheme on five-year-olds as part of an international study. Researchers say.....

Staff grieve as nursery worker dies in Grenfell Tower fire

Angeline Albert (22-Jun-17)

Nursery worker Farah Hamdan died from smoke inhalation on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower, after fire broke out shortly before 1am on 14 June. Thirty-one year-old Farah Hamdan died with her husband Omar.....

Welsh parents to pay extra for lunch and trips under new 30 hours 'free' childcare offer

Sue Learner (14-Jun-17)

Parents in Wales will be expected to pay extra for meals and trips as part of the new 30 hours ‘free’ childcare offer, which is being piloted in Anglesey and Gwynedd, Blaenau Gwent, Flintshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea and Caerphilly. The.....

Teachers call for Reception to 'remain an integral part of the EYFS'

Melissa McAlees (22-May-17)

A review has revealed 'overwhelming support' for Reception to remain part of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), rather than be moved into Key Stage 1. More than 4,000 Reception teachers, head teachers.....

Lib Dem leader backs 'lemonade' nurseries' campaign for funds

Angeline Albert (08-May-17)

The Champagne Nurseries Lemonade Funding Group, which is calling for the Government to stop referring to the 30 hours offer as ‘free’ childcare, has won the backing of Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron. The campaign.....

MPs urge Government to investigate 'potentially harmful' impact of testing four-year-olds

Sue Learner (03-May-17)

MPs have called on the Government to conduct a ‘thorough evaluation of potentially harmful consequences’ of introducing testing for four-year-olds. The Department for Education wants to ditch SATs for seven-year-olds.....

Some 50,000 children will not get a 'free' nursery place

Angeline Albert (18-Apr-17)

Up to 50,000 children could miss out this September on a ‘free’ (30 hour a week) childcare place because some nurseries won't offer it. When it comes to providing ‘free’ childcare, as promised by the Government,.....

Extra £50m funding for 30 hour childcare offer criticised as a 'drip feed approach'

Michaela Mildenhall (11-Apr-17)

Early years minister Caroline Dinenage has announced plans for a £50m capital grants fund to help deliver the 30 hours of ‘free’ childcare being brought in this September. However Neil Leitch, chief executive of Pre-School Learning.....

Nursery staff cleared of child cruelty

Sue Learner (10-Apr-17)

A nursery owner, her deputy and a nursery practitioner have all been cleared of charges of child cruelty at a nursery in Port Talbot, Wales. Katie Davies, 32, of King Street, Port Talbot, who owned Bright.....

Busy Bees acquires Treetops Nurseries for £93m

Melissa McAlees (30-Mar-17)

The UK’s largest nursery group, Busy Bees Nurseries Ltd has announced an agreement to acquire Treetops Nurseries, the UK's fourth largest childcare provider, in a £93m deal. Treetops Nurseries, which has a portfolio.....

MP recalls rush to find son as London's terror attack puts Parliament's nursery in lockdown

Angeline Albert (23-Mar-17)

Babies and toddlers remained trapped in the House of Commons nursery, hours after a terrorist attack in London led to the death of four people and left 29 others needing hospital treatment. The nursery and.....

Nurseries told 'We're coming to kill you all'

Angeline Albert (21-Mar-17)

Nurseries across the West Midlands went into emergency mode after being threatened with guns by a woman who said she’d be arriving to kill all the children and staff. Staff at nine nurseries and schools.....

Nicola Sturgeon's £50m promise gives Scotland's private nursery staff a pay rise

Angeline Albert (20-Mar-17)

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced she’ll give £50m to ensure all staff in private nurseries are paid the Living Wage to help deliver her Government’s doubling of free childcare hours by 2020. Ms.....