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Ofsted Early Years Annual Report 2012/13 - overview & key messages


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Nick Hudson, Ofsted's Director for Early Education, introduces the Early Years Annual Report 2012/13, providing an overview of the sector and key findings of the report

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Ofsted Early Years Annual Report 2012/13 - overview & key messages

  1. 1. Early Years Annual Report 2012/13 3 April 2014 Report Launch Event
  2. 2. About the report  HMCI publishes his annual report every year in December. Alongside this report there are reports on each of the sectors we inspect.  Last year for the first time we published the social care report separately to give additional focus and profile to the important issues facing the sector.  Given the positive response, we are today publishing the first dedicated early years report.  We have recently changed our inspection framework for Early Years Registered providers and this report covers the period up to the point of that change (1 September 2012 to 31 October 2013).  Today we are also publishing a thematic report on School Readiness.  We will be inviting responses to the messages in the report using Twitter and #OfstedEarlyYears
  3. 3. Context
  4. 4. Context  Traditionally Ofsted reports on Early Years have commented on the performance of Early Years Registered providers only. This report considers all provision for ages 0-4, including schools.  The Chief Inspector has just written to all Early Years inspectors, emphasising the need to make a link between the quality of teaching and its impact on children’s progress. The report reinforces the message that it is relevant to focus on teaching in early years.  The government has just announced the introduction of a baseline assessment at age 4. The report makes a series of recommendations to government with the aim of ensuring the baseline is useful to inspectors.  The report comments on the lack of comparability between inspection judgements of EY registered providers and schools. Ofsted has recently launched a consultation on reintroducing an early years judgement for schools which is one step towards addressing this.
  5. 5. Key messages
  6. 6. Key messages The report argues for a simpler, more flexible and more accountable early years system, arguing that this is necessary because:  the sector is confusing for parents and too hard to access  too much provision serving more disadvantaged communities is not good enough  there are serious weaknesses in data and assessment, meaning it is difficult to hold providers of early education to account.
  7. 7. Report overview
  8. 8. The views of parents  Parents are the most important influence on any child’s early years  Additionally, 94% of children experience government funded early education and childcare which means quality matters  Most parents are satisfied with the quality of childcare, with only 10% thinking quality is less than good However  39% of parents say there is too little information on childcare options  Parents on low incomes, lone parents and those not already using childcare are less likely to feel they have enough information  35% of couples where neither parent is working are not aware of the free entitlement to funded early education
  9. 9. Quality continues to improve… Ofsted has contributed to this through greater rigour in registration, greater emphasis on learning and development and in our response to complaints
  10. 10. …but the sector is confusing  Online information sources, including Ofsted’s own website, together present a patchy and confusing picture  The language we use to talk about education and childcare is confusing – too many words for different kinds of provider and no agreement about what they refer to  The regulatory system is not well equipped to deal with institutions that overlap: school - children’s centre - EY registered provider  Inspection reports for schools are not comparable to those for Early Years Registered providers  There is no inspection judgement for early years in primary schools – a consultation has just been launched to reintroduce this but more will be needed to make inspection outcomes clear enough to inform parents’ choices
  11. 11. Outcomes have improved but the gap for the poorest children is still far too wide The report includes a league table of local authorities based on the proportion of FSM pupils reaching a good level of development in the
  12. 12. Why do children from low-income backgrounds do less well?  There is less of the highest quality provision in deprived areas: the quality of childminders varies most by deprivation, and the quality of nursery schools varies least but there are very few nursery schools nationally  Children from low income families benefit from interaction with graduate level staff, but the prevalence of these higher qualifications in deprived areas is highly variable  Funded places are available at a younger age to children from low income families but fewer places are taken up  The most common reason families do not take up entitlement is a lack of awareness of eligibility
  13. 13. Accountability for improving outcomes  There is very weak accountability for outcomes  Only local authorities and children’s centres have specific responsibility for children from low income families and there is no clear way to hold them to account  The performance of local authorities varies widely:  In Greenwich, Hackney and Lewisham, 60% of children eligible for free school meals reach a ‘good level of development’  In Halton, North Yorkshire, Stockton on Tees, Leicester, Richmond upon Thames , Gateshead, Wigan and Warrington is less than 25%
  14. 14. Data weaknesses seriously limit accountability
  15. 15. Data and assessment requires improvement  There is only one data source which is the EYFS Profile  This is not linked to early years providers, so there is no data to hold them to account  Assessments at age two are conducted by health and at age five by education, and assessment information is not passed from one to the other  The reliability of current assessments of attainment on entry and at KS1 is open to question  An integrated two year old check and a new baseline are planned but may not address these gaps
  16. 16. Recommendations
  17. 17. The report makes 17 detailed recommendations to achieve these aims:  It should be easier for parents to compare the quality of provision for children before the start of Reception  There should be clear accountability for outcomes and Ofsted should have the means to hold providers to account for their performance, particularly where they are in receipt of public money  Schools should have greater flexibility to support children and parents in their early years and be incentivised to do so through the inspection and regulation system  The contribution of children’s centres to outcomes should be made clearer  More should be done to stop children from low income families from falling behind