Our view: General Election

Probably like everyone else, we initially greeted the news that there would be another General Election in June with a groan. At the time of writing the various parties haven’t yet published their full manifestos, so we cannot comment on how they compare with regards to their impact on our sector.

However, it is worth remembering that the DfE’s recently announced funding round for schools has seen dramatic drops in funding for many, many schools across the country. (In our immediate area alone, we have seen the small, local primary school facing a shortfall of £400 per pupil, which means they may lose their headteacher.)

Those of us with children of school age will be alarmed at what this sharp drop in funding means for the quality of our children’s education, but those of us running out of school clubs on school premises should also be very concerned.

Schools are now desperate for alternative funding streams, and that makes clubs more vulnerable than ever before to dramatic hikes in rent, or to being taken over by schools which see them as a source of easy money.

Just something to bear in mind when you come to vote in June…

Source: Out of School Alliance.

30 Jun 2017

Partnership working

Do you as a setting feel confident in your partnership working? Are you able to recognise the importance of doing so in the context of childcare provision and support?

Ofsted inspectors are very keen to see evidence of communication between out of school clubs and reception teachers.

“Providers must enable a regular two-way flow of information with parents and/or carers, and between providers, if a child is attending more than one setting.”
(EYFS 2017, Para 3.68)

Settings must make time to discuss the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) children with the primary provider, for example the reception teacher. However, the focus of this is no longer to discuss progress against the learning and development goals, but more to discuss the children in more general terms with a greater focus on their physical and social development.

Have you reviewed your contacts with the primary providers for any early year’s children at your setting? If you find that there has been little or no communication, you still have time to get things in order before the end of term, so that that you are meeting your statutory requirements

Make an appointment with the reception teacher to discuss the individual needs of the EYFS children attending your club, note down key areas such as likes and dislikes and areas where the child needs some support. Ask the teacher to sign and date your meeting (this is your evidence of partnership communication)

You must also explain to parents how you are supporting their children with the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. For example, what resources you have that reflect the areas of learning and development, providing a caring and nurturing environment and qualified staff.

If you find primary teachers are difficult to obtain for a meeting, then try emailing, but always keep copies of your emails to highlight that you have tried to create a flow of communication.

Finally remind yourself of your staff team and the child’s teacher that it is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard children and you are following the government guidance from the “working together to safeguard children 2015” documentation to create partnership working.

30 Jun 2017

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