Norfolk five-year-olds less developed than national average - council targets nurseries

Teacher playing with nursery pupils Teacher playing with nursery pupils

Saturday, March 8, 2014
8:00 AM

Children centres, pre-schools, nurseries and childminders are being targeted in a new push to improve the number of Norfolk under-fives achieving a good level of development.

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The county is below the national average, with communication and personal, social and emotional development particular areas of concern.

Norfolk County Council said children’s levels of development at the age of five is the closest indicator of their likely GCSE achievement, and its strategy will concentrate on areas in each district where development, and take up of places for three and four-year-olds, are lowest.

Mick Castle, cabinet member for education, said: “Getting early education right is absolutely crucial if children are to start school ready to learn.

“Children need to be able to speak, listen and work with others if they are to get on at school. If they struggle in the early years it can be difficult to catch up. We must re-focus our work so we are tackling areas of under-performance and challenging and supporting children’s centres, pre-schools, nurseries and childminders where children are not doing as well.

“Clearly, parents have a huge role to play, which is why we are planning to work even more closely with children’s centres to help parents support their children’s early development at home.”

The strategy will also aim to identify children’s special educational needs much earlier, so appropriate support can be put in place to help their early education.

The strategy comes as Ofsted revealed that one-in-four nurseries and childminders in England are judged “satisfactory” at best.

The inspectorate overhauled early years inspections in November, with the “satisfactory” grade renamed “requires improvement”, and only ratings of “good” or “outstanding” now considered acceptable.

Those that fail to meet these standards could face having their registration cancelled - effectively closing them down.

Are Norfolk’s under-fives being failed? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

6 comments

  • When a child attends playgroups, pre-school or nursery they do not get the 1 - to- 1 attention they would if they were at home and I think they lose out. My children never were home until school age and I must admit they are doing very well.

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    JEN

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • When a child attends playgroups, pre-school or nursery they do not get the 1 - to- 1 attention they would if they were at home and I think they lose out. My children never were home until school age and I must admit they are doing very well.

    Report this comment

    JEN

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • The same council that has just withdrawn Early Years funding (covering free sessions for 3 year olds) at the Outstanding-rated UEA nursery, potentially putting its future at risk? Hypocrites.

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    littlesharpie

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • The trouble is that too many parents seem to absolve themselves of responsibility for their child's development when they are at nursery or other pre-school settings. My child went to nursery 3 days a week when I returned to work after maternity leave but I didn't automatically think I could leave toilet training, teaching him to walk, talk, start writing letters, use cutlery etc to them. I took responsibility for that and as a result, his time at nursery enhanced what we did at home and he was well prepared to start learning when he went to school. I am shocked and appalled at the number of children who start school unable to do any of the above which puts extra pressure on teachers, especially now that everything is based on ensuring the children achieve specific targets.. All children should have basic social skills and be toilet trained when they start school, so that the teachers can do what they are paid to do, ie teach! How can you expect a child to learn how to read and write if they still can't string a spoken sentence together or go to the toilet!

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    Row71

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • When a child attends playgroups, pre-school or nursery they do not get the 1 - to- 1 attention they would if they were at home and I think they lose out. My children never were home until school age and I must admit they are doing very well.

    Report this comment

    JEN

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Oh blimey what magic words do these mods have that prevent posts from appearing? Try again.Less developed? In my book many nurseries turn out stressed and needy children or precocious unruly children immune to discipline in school because of the quality of staffing in nurseries. All Castle is saying is that Norfolk children are not jumping through the contrived development hoops put in place by Gove and co-some of which are fantastic ( in the original meaning of the word) . Is it possible that Norfolk children spend less time in nursery and have skills and attributes not measured by Gove the Child -" nasty character from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" ( maybe that was the trip word) My Oxbridge graduate kid, summer birthday, had two mornings a week in playschool, learning to play and socialise.

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    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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