Tes focus on…How to improve early years education

The government’s efforts to close the disadvantage gap by investing in early years are pointless unless they tackle the glaring problem – a lack of graduate teachers, says Naomi Eisenstadt. Here the former chief adviser on children’s services tells Chris Parr exactly how ministers can raise pre-school standards – but she says she won’t be holding her breath

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Everyone has an opinion on early years education at the moment. As the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers became increasingly clear under the focus of the government’s social mobility aims, and the efforts higher up in the schooling system repeatedly failed to meaningfully close that gap, attention inevitably turned to interventions at ever younger age groups: predominantly at early years foundation stage (EYFS). With that concentration came a great deal of criticism.

Much of it has been targeted at the teaching: Ofsted’s highly controversial Bold Beginnings report ...

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