Quango stands by early-years formality

25th June 1999 at 01:00
Controversial plans to set formal goals for pre-school children have overwhelming support, according to the Government's curriculum quango.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has published the results of its consultation on proposals for early-years education. These set out what children are expected to achieve from the age of three to the end of their first year of compulsory education.

QCA chief executive Nick Tate said:" The results show strong support from everyone involved in education of three to five-year-olds - parents, the voluntary, state, private sectors and professional associations."

This is despite opposition from early-years lobbyists and academics and some headteachers.

According to The Pre-School Learning Alliance, the proposals risked "marginalising" play and damaging the development particularly of "vulnerable young children whose home lives may be marked by family breakdown".

The QCA says it wants to address the confusion arising from the absence of a single admission policy to primary school. Children of the same age can be in a nursery, pre-school or reception class, or at home.

The consultation, carried out in England, found that 87 per cent of respondents supported a foundation stage with early-learning goals. But fewer than half the state nurseries backed the literacy aims.

It also found 85 per cent in agreement with the six areas of learning in which the QCA says the goals should be set. These are defined as: personal, social and emotional development; language and literacy; mathematics; knowledge and understanding of the world; physical development; and creative development.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


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 your low-cost subscription today