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Staff like newearly-years profile

YOUR article "117 ways to waste time?" (TES, May 9) summarised a National Union of Teachers' poll on the opinions of 803 infant teachers on the Foundation Stage Profile.

This research, by Warwick University, highlighted concerns, which the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has noted.

However, I would like to point out that it was not based on a random sample: all teachers polled were NUT members. Of these, approximately a third were KS1 teachers, who may be unaware of early-years issues and would not attend early-years training. No other practitioners in state schools were polled - surprising given the crucial role of early-years staff supporting qualified teachers in the foundation stage. Voluntary, private and independent sectors were excluded - another surprise, given their valuable early-years contribution.

Our own research found that 89 per cent of early-years practitioners rated the profile very highly on all measures.

Early-years practitioners across the foundation stage, in their day-to-day work, have been making assessments against the curriculum guidance since September 2000. They support the foundation stage profile and do not view it as "just pointless ticking of boxes".

Martin Ripley Head of assessment policy and development programme Qualifications and Curriculum Authority 83 Piccadilly, London W1

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