Review aims to detangle early years red tape

9th July 2010 at 01:00

A review of the early years foundation stage (EYFS) will be carried out this year with the aim of making it less bureaucratic, the Government has announced.

Dame Clare Tickell, chief executive of the Action for Children charity, will conduct the review with a final report due in spring 2011.

The Labour government had already promised a review of the EYFS in 2010 and researchers have begun gathering evidence for it.

The EYFS covers all settings that cater for children under the age of five. It includes play-based learning, welfare requirements and 69 learning goals, which are assessed at the end of reception year.

Two controversial goals - a child being able to write their name and use phonics to attempt complex words - have already been reviewed once but left untouched.

Critics have claimed the EYFS is overly bureaucratic, particularly for reception teachers. There are also concerns that its demands have led to a decrease in the number of child minders.

The Government has said that the review will look at four areas: whether there should be a single framework for all providers; the evidence about children's development; whether it should be formally assessed; and welfare standards.

Megan Pacey, chief executive of the charity Early Education, said the review should be about fine-tuning rather than revolution.

"While many practitioners admitted to having been daunted by the EYFS when it was first implemented, our evidence showed that after the first year, the majority were embracing it," she said.

"Early Education hopes that this review will provide the opportunity to fine-tune the outstanding issues."

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,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today