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ECEC POLICY IN THE UK: RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES AND ISSUES WALES University of Winchester 30th April 2013 Jane Waters.

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Presentation on theme: "ECEC POLICY IN THE UK: RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES AND ISSUES WALES University of Winchester 30th April 2013 Jane Waters."— Presentation transcript:

1 ECEC POLICY IN THE UK: RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES AND ISSUES WALES University of Winchester 30th April 2013 Jane Waters

2 Provision 0-8 Flying start (SES-directed funding and provision)/ local provision 0-3 Funded nursery place from 3 rd birthday in Foundation Phase (FP) setting (usually located in a school) FP: N,R, Y1 and Y2 follow FP under 7 Areas of Learning (AoLs) Personal and Social Development, Well-Being and Cultural Diversity; Language, Literacy and Communication Skills; Mathematical Development; Welsh Language Development (in English-medium schools and settings); Knowledge and Understanding of the World; Physical Development; Creative Development. Transition into KS2 national curriculum Wales

3 Pedagogy ‘Play-based’/ ‘active learning’ ‘Balance between child-initiated and practitioner-directed’ ‘Emphasis on use of the outdoors’ Pedagogical approach is not explicitly set out (Welsh Government Social Research, WGSR, 2013) E.g. Distributed across: ‘Foundation Phase Framework’; ‘Play/Active Learning’; ‘Learning and Teaching Pedagogy’ and ‘Observing Children’. Continuous, enhanced, focus tasks Location of trained adult / teacher usually with focus task

4 Description provided in WGRS 2013 Adult:chlid ratios in FP settings: 1:8 1:15

5 FP Assessment On-entry assessment ‘provide a baseline of the child’s development progress and needs to help plan for the next steps in their learning and development’. No prescribed tool for on-entry assessment to the Foundation Phase. The previous statutory assessment tool, the Child Development Assessment Profile (CDAP), was withdrawn in February Review of assessment tools: Wide range: include tools that have been developed locally or in-house, the tools that the settings used prior to the introduction of CDAP, CDAP in full or in part and a range of other commercially available tools. Report to parents at end Y2; teacher assessment

6 Common assessment framework Development of 0-7 assessment framework is out to tender from WG Consultation re: common assessment framework 0-7 from Summer 2014 Welcomed but sceptical ‘must be based on observation over a number of weeks of the child in natural FP setting’ ‘Would provide joined up thinking across 0-7 age range and help remove false divide 0-3/ 3-7’ Flying start

7 Welsh in Education Strategy Outcome 1 More seven-year-old children being taught through the medium of Welsh. Indicator Targets The percentage of Year 2 learners assessed in Welsh (first language) 2015: 25% 2020: 30% ‘Welsh medium’ FP education - no ‘English’ language teaching until KS data: 21.9% Y2 children assessed through WM (first language) year on year increase since 2003 (19%)

8 National policies/priorities impacting on ECE provision National ‘3 priority areas’ Literacy Numeracy Breaking the link between poverty and achievement National Literacy Programme and National Numeracy Programme (from Sept 2013) ‘PISA panic’ The Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF) curriculum planning tool (5-14 years) outlines literacy and numeracy skills to be developed across the curriculum. The Literacy and Numeracy tests are not part of the LNF. They are statutory. ‘raising the bar’ of expected achievement concern raised over lack of discrimination at lower end of the tests (failure at 7)

9 National policies/priorities impacting on ECE provision WG ‘have adopted the UNCRC as the basis of all work for children and young people. This is expressed in seven core aims. All children and young people: have a flying start in life have a comprehensive range of education and learning opportunities enjoy the best possible health and are free from abuse, victimisation and exploitation have access to play, leisure, sporting and cultural activities are listened to, treated with respect, and have their race and cultural identity recognised have a safe home and a community which supports physical and emotional wellbeing are not disadvantaged by poverty. The 7 core aims ‘form the basis for decisions: on priorities and objectives nationally. on strategy and service provision locally’

10 Research agenda Foundation Phase evaluation ongoing (Cardiff Uni lead) HEFCW funded WISERDEducation initiative: Data mining focus/ quantitative development of research capacity in Wales Local small ‘r’ research Minimal national agenda outside FP evaluation

11 Critique / comments Wales' significant investment, through Flying Start, in children under 4 for the next 3 years is ‘something to be proud of’. Impact? Geographical nature of provision 0-3 Workforce competency 0-3 is inconsistent Those 0-3 outside maintained sector are squeezed by current economic climate Gap in quality assurance of EYEC standards across 0-7 range Division of 0-3 and 3-7 ECE and 0-5 / 5+ in other services leads to inconsistencies across Wales Proposed EYDAF in developmental in its conceptualisation

12 Critique / comments Learning and teaching in the FP: ‘there is no single clear explanation for the approach and pedagogy of the Foundation Phase that practitioners could use’. (WGSR 2013 viii) FP ‘pedagogy’ very varied on the ground (inside and out) Tensions in pedagogical ideology of FP and the reality of focus task directed (if ‘play-based’) ‘teaching’ Opportunities for child initiated learning and co-constructed episodes limited by this tension Inherent tensions in FP pedagogy / National Literacy and Numeracy programmes / Welsh language agenda Tension between the children's rights approach (7 Core Aims) and the (perceived) move towards adult-led pedagogy

13 References Welsh Government Social Research (2013) Evaluating the Foundation Phase: Policy Logic Model and Programme Theory ISBN


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