Schools sought to test early years reforms before roll-out

The government is looking for schools to become “early adopters” of reforms aimed at boosting language development in early years education.

The schools would be able to use revised early learning goals one year ahead of their compulsory roll-out in September next year.

The goals are the measures teachers use to assess how prepared children are to enter year 1.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said: “I want teachers to have more time interacting with children to develop their language and vocabulary, providing them with the best platform to fulfil their potential at school.

“The reformed Early Years Foundation Stage framework will support pupils’ education as they move through the early years to more formal schooling, and reduce teacher workload.”

Schools will be contacted directly with a link to an e-survey for heads to complete to confirm their participation.

The government’s proposals for the developmental goals for reception pupils were tested in 23 pilot schools.

As revealed by Schools Week, the government has U-turned on plans to make pupils count to 10 – rather than beyond 20.

A consultation on changes to the early years foundation stage is due to close on January 31.

The government said the reforms will provide reception teachers with “clearer assessment guidance, to help cut unnecessary workload so they can focus on supporting children’s development”.