Sunday, 11 March 2007

Ofsted report on early years education

There's a pretty good reaction to this on the BBC website - but I think Mike Baker, their education correspondent, misses some of the important points.

There is a gathering body - international in scope - of evidence to show the benefits of a play-based early childhood curriculum that emphasises learning outdoors, care, social and emotional development. There's even some pretty good evidence that the positive impact of this extends for 35 years and more after a child leaves early education and care.

What's missed out in Mike Baker's column is the fact that English nursery schools have been doing exactly this job for decades. They've swung in and out of fashion - and of course adapted with the times, and in response to research. But there is still a resognisable connection between a good English nursery school now, and the ones set up by the Macmillan sisters early in the 20th century. Here's my item on the BBC website.