Time to resist foundation targets

Margaret Edgington

I read your article "Foundation stage targets set two years ahead are `nonsense'" (TES, September 26) with anger and sadness. Does it not occur to ministers that when less than half of children nationally score six in personal, social and emotional development and communication, language and literacy by the end of reception, their idea of "a good level of development" for four- and five-year-olds is wrong?

Rather than push children towards unrealistic targets, why can't politicians and their advisers admit that they have misjudged normal child development and rethink early years policy?

I meet many teachers who are concerned about the growing pressure they are under to raise children's profile scores, particularly in literacy. It is clear that school and pupil level targets prevent teachers from planning a developmentally appropriate curriculum.

A growing number of reports warn against target-setting and league tables for older children and highlight the stress they cause. Is our profession prepared to allow the youngest children to be put under similar pressure?

Surely it is time to mount a national "refusal to comply" campaign.

Margaret Edgington, Independent early years consultant, Leicester.

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Margaret Edgington

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