Minority of nurseries let down successful side

15th December 2000 at 00:00
ENGLISH and mathematics teaching in nurseries needs to be improved despite an overall increase in standards, according to inspectors.

The Office for Standards in Education said that the quality of education for three and four-year-olds had shown a marked improvement over the past three years.

But inspectors found that there were weaknesses in teaching the basics at one in five nurseries. They called for an overhaul of staff planning and training.

The report said there was still a lot to do to improve language, literacy and maths skills "to enable three and four-year-olds to get the best possible foundation".

OFSTED called for urgent action to turn around the "stubborn 1 to 2 per cent" ofplaygroups and nurseries which have significant weaknesses.

The report was published as ministers pledged to provide an extra 80,000 free nursery places as part of a plan for universal provision for three-year-olds by 2004.

Education Secretary David Blunkett said free places will be available in voluntary, private and local authority centres next year.

The Conservatives criticised the announcement, saying that the Government was "giving with one hand and taking with another". Shadow education spokesman John Hayes said there had been a drop of 30,000 in the number of pre-school places since 1997. He also accused the Government of allowing class sizes for four-year-olds to increase.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


Get Tes online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to Tes online and the Tes app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off Tes Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the Tes online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order today