Westminster Education Forum

Early years education in England - the early learning goals, developing the workforce and the impact of Ofsted’s inspection framework

Morning, Wednesday, 15th January 2020

Central London


This seminar will look at the next steps for early years education in England - focusing on early learning goals, workforce development, and the impact of the new inspection framework.

The conference will be an opportunity to examine findings in the independent evaluation of the early years assessment pilot, which is currently being conducted by the Education Endowment Foundation and whose report on the initial pilots in 25 schools of the revised early learning goals is expected to be published in the Autumn.

With the revised goals intended to improve children’s early language and communication skills, and close the ‘word gap’ by enhancing the language and social skills of disadvantaged pupils, delegates will consider the implications of these changes on early years education more widely, including teacher workload, as well as the further changes which may be needed following the pilots and the independent evaluation.

Further sessions will discuss what more can be done to support and develop the early years workforce, and address some of the key issues facing those working in the sector.

It takes place in the context of the Education Policy Institute's The Early Years Workforce in England report, which identified immediate and long term recruitment problems - including in hiring well qualified staff and an ageing workforce - as well as that a large proportion of those working in the sector are struggling financially and the presence of a gender imbalance, with the workforce remaining largely female.

With the report finding that many of those working in the profession have low qualification levels which can affect the quality of provision, delegates will discuss how this can be addressed and the likely impact of the introduction of the new Education and Childcare T-Level from September 2020 on the profession as it is developed.

Further sessions will look at changes to inspections within the early years following the publication of Ofsted’s new inspection framework which will be implemented from September.

With early years settings now being judged on the use of additional funding, including the early years pupil premium and ‘cultural capital’ (how well leaders ensure that the curriculum enhances opportunities for children), delegates will look at how early years settings are adapting to the new framework.

They will also consider the impact so far of the frameworks new ‘quality of education’ judgement which focuses on a settings curriculum and the introduction of a separate judgement for behaviour.

Keynote Speakers

Susie Owen

Deputy Director, Early Years and Childcare, Department for Education

Dr Sara Bonetti

Associate Director, Early Years, Education Policy Institute

Keynote Speakers

Fatima Husain

Director, Children and Families (interim), NatCen Social Research

Dr Sara Bonetti

Associate Director, Early Years, Education Policy Institute

Susie Owen

Deputy Director, Early Years and Childcare, Department for Education


Rt Rev the Lord Bishop of St Albans


Stella Ziolkowski

Director, Quality and Workforce Development, National Day Nurseries Association

Abi Brydon

Deputy Headteacher, William Harding School, Buckinghamshire

Daniel Sobel

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Inclusion Expert; Author and Speaker

Isabel Davis

Executive Headteacher, Peter Pan Teaching School Alliance, Bedfordshire and National Member and EYFS Representative, Teaching Schools Council

Tom McBride

Director of Evidence, Early Intervention Foundation

Michael Freeston

Director of Quality Improvement, Early Years Alliance

Dr James Hall

Associate Professor, Southampton Education School, University of Southampton

Julie Hyde

Director, Cache

Phil Minns

Specialist Adviser, Early Years and Primary, Ofsted