ATL comment on Ofsted’s Early Years Annual Report
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers Lecturers (ATL), said:
“Good quality early education is vital for young children’s development and learning, so we are pleased to see that over four fifths of early years settings and early years provision in schools is judged good or outstanding. We congratulate all those who have worked hard to achieve this.
“We are not surprised that so few schools have places for two–year-olds. While schools do offer many benefits, including the potential for an easier transition into reception and beyond, they are not necessarily geared up to support very young children. And teachers are not necessarily trained to teach two year olds. Many schools need to make big changes to their premises, their lunchtime arrangements and their staffing in order to provide the best care and education for two-year-olds, and this cannot happen overnight. With the Government now asking schools to provide 30 hours of ‘childcare’ for three- and four-year-olds, further changes will need to happen, at a time when budgets are stretched. However, this must not be allowed to distract schools from providing the highest quality education for our youngest children.”