While we agree that there should be clear guidelines for teaching young children, the Government's goals are developmentally inappropriate and contrary to the basic principles of young children's learning. They will dilute good quality nursery education, which considers the needs of the whole child.
Perhaps the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority would do well to look beyond the narrow confines of the English education system to examples of Scottish, Welsh and New Zealand guidance on the early years, or to read the National Children's Bureau's Quality in Diversity.
It is to be hoped that the consultation process will ensure that the Government recognises the concerns of professionals and amends the document appropriately by drawing on the best practice in nursery education.
Carol Camping, Teresa Broad, Fiona Matthews, Janet Gaines, Maggie Neil, Elaine Smith, Sue Clempson Nick Swarbrick, Oxfordshire nursery headteachers, co 269 Cowley Road, Oxford