Thursday, 3 April 2014

Potential 'Non-compliance' on 'schoolifying' of the early years

On the day that Michael Wilshaw called for more formal learning for two year olds it was good to see this letter in the Daily Telegraph. Signatories include Dr Richard House who is a member of the Green Party.


SIR – “The erosion of childhood” is becoming a theme of concern to citizens across the political spectrum.
The latest salvo in this “paradigm war” for the heart of childhood has been discharged by the head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw. In a letter to all early-years inspectors, he instructs them to judge nurseries mainly in terms of preparation for school. They must “teach children the early stages of mathematics and reading”.
This utilitarian shift from experience to content betrays an abject (and even wilful) misunderstanding of the nature of early childhood experience. The determination to dragoon England’s young children into unconscionably early quasi-formal learning is catastrophic for their well-being, and is setting up many for failure at a very young age.
England’s early years education and care is safe in the hands neither of Sir Michael Wilshaw nor of the current incumbents at the Department for Education. We urge Sir Michael and the DfE to stop digging in their current “schoolifying” hole, and step back from this misguided drive to over-formalise England’s early-years sphere.
The alternative might be that these policy-makers end up precipitating the first wave of professional “principled non-compliance” with government policy that our education system has known in living memory. Any government that underestimates the strength of feeling on this issue, and the resolve to resist it, does so at its peril.

Letter and full list of signatories HERE 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A leaked email from Wilshaw to his Ofsted zealots on Monday reads:
'Today the Nursery. Tomorrow the Womb!'