Pre-school Education: Standards

Department for Education written question – answered on 7th September 2017.

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Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Reform and Constitutional Issues), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit), DUP Westminster Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the implications for its policies of the Social Mobility Commission's findings in its report, Time for Change: An Assessment of Government Policies on Social Mobility 1997-2017, on the quality of nursery provision provided to children.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Minister of State (Department for Education)

The Government is committed to driving up quality standards in the early years. As the Social Mobility Commission report notes, the proportion of providers rated “good” or “outstanding” has risen steadily and the latest figures from Ofsted show that 93% of providers had achieved these top ratings as at 31 March 2017. Ofsted’s annual report last year noted that the proportion of “good” and “outstanding” nurseries and pre-schools was now almost identical in the least deprived areas compared with the most deprived, the difference having decreased by seven percentage points in four years. Improving the regulatory regime is a key part of our quality strategy and we continue to work closely with Ofsted on that.

In addition, the department published its Early Years Workforce Strategy on 3 March, which set out how we plan to help employers attract, retain and develop early years staff. The workforce strategy supports the development of a well-qualified workforce with the appropriate knowledge, skills and experience to deliver high quality early education and childcare for all children from birth to age five, including through improving the quality of early years training and providing access to continuous professional development. The strategy can be viewed from this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-workforce-strategy.

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