Diversity and the nursery

27th October 1995 at 00:00
I welcome Liz Wood's critical response to the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority's pre-school education consultation document (TES, October 13). I would like to underline the fact that there is no acknowledgement of linguistic and cultural diversity in the document.

This omission means that there is no official recognition that young ethnic minority pupils (including those children who are learning English as an additional language) actually exist and there is no expectation that teachers (and other carers) should know about them.

As an experienced language teacher working with ethnic minority pupils in the early years, I would like to add that we have a multi-ethnic and multilingual population.

The latest estimates from the European Union indicate that approximately 7 to 9 per cent are from minority backgrounds.

Since we all agree that early-years education is vitally important to the future of our children, it would be a great omission on our part not to recognise the achievements of our ethnic-minority children and to promote a genuinely multilingual and multiracial society at this very important stage of a young person's development.

We must recognise children's first language development and build on their cultural experiences as well as developing an effective partnership with ethnic minority parents.

I would like to urge the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority to take account of the needs of all pre-school children in the consultation and revision process.

ROSE DRURY Co-ordinator Early Years Interest Group co Holywell School Tolpits Lane Watford Herts.

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