One of their first posts was this letter that was sent out all over the tinterweb..... excellent stuff.
SIR – We welcome the Government’s attempts to simplify the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, for children from birth to the age of five, but there is widespread concern about the direction of the current revision.
There is a need to consider the central place of imaginative, spontaneous play, and of young children’s physical development in the curriculum.
We must also look at the “schoolification” of early childhood, with its over-assessment and excessive monitoring. Controversial “early learning goals” are putting premature emphasis on cognitive learning.
Parents are under undue pressure to prepare children for formal schooling, according to a system too inflexible to cater for the highly diverse developmental needs of young children. Many feel disquiet about commercial influences and the statutory imposition of inappropriate computer experience on young children.
There should be ways to pursue equality without imposing an indiscriminate compulsory framework upon all children, irrespective of their needs.
Today we are launching Early Childhood Action, with the support of around 50 major figures and organisations, to form a coalition of those in the early years sector. We will be drafting an alternative curriculum document to build on the positive aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage, while addressing its key shortcomings.
Dr Richard House
University of Roehampton
University of Oxford
Montessori teacher and counsellor/coach
Grethe Hooper Hansen
Ex-president, Society for Effective Affective Learning
Dr Jayne Osgood
London Metropolitan University
Co-author, Consumer Kids
General Secretary, Voice
Birkbeck College, London
EM-Lyon Business School and co-author, Consumer Kids
Professor Emeritus Janet Moyles
Early Years and Play Consultant
Literacy specialist and author
Dr Aric Sigman
Child health education lecturer
Early Years Consultant and writer
Dr Maria Robinson
Author, Understanding Behaviour and Development in Early Childhood
Infant mental health specialist
Sally Goddard Blythe
Director, Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology, Chester
Dr Andrew Lockett
Early Years Consultant