The Early Years Blog

I recently found a letter I had written in 2014 to the London boroughs arguing that if we were serious about stemming childhood obesity we needed to work together to support children grow up to lead long, healthy and independent lives and be able to play as full a role in society as possible. At the...

There is no poverty in the UK I hear you cry. Really? Let's start by looking at what we mean by poverty and the statistics. There is currently no formal UK-wide measure of poverty, but experts such as the Social Metrics Commission set the threshold as 55 per cent of the median total available resources...

It was the longest and largest consultation Ofsted has ever undertaken (four months with 100 focus groups and 250 pilots across the sector) and consequently 15,000 people replied. Lesson to Ofsted, and the DfE may listen, but if you really want our views; give it enough time, be visible, share the information...

The debate about what is education continues unabated. The DfE annoyed and baffled many last month when they announced that they did not advocate using the word learning because it is a weak term; they want to use the term attainment instead. Whatever happened to lifelong learning? Learning not to...

Last week, one of our nurseries curated a pop-up art exhibition at a central London venue. The art which was auctioned by the manager surprised him enormously as it raised £300 which will be used to fund a woodwork bench and some baby equipment.  I observed the evening through the lens of cultural...

Many will have watched the Extinction Rebellion unfolding on the streets of Westminster with probably a mixture of bemusement, support and irritation. In the last week, I have experienced all three of these emotions - as someone working in Westminster I have to trudge wearily from place to place, held...

To be honest, cultural capital is not the usual conversation piece. But it is both a conscious and unconscious part of our everyday lives. Now that Ofsted has introduced the concept into the new Education Inspection Framework it will become more conscious for many people. In 2011, I started to investigate...

I arrived on Friday evening in a wet Bath for the Firm Foundations Conference. A wet bath was also just perfect metaphor for my life at the moment! I am currently living without a bathroom while my husband replaces our current bathroom, rebuilding the walls, plasters and doing inexplicable things with...

I have taken Brexit like the rest of the UK, a bit like a grief response; shock, anger, fear, sadness and gradual acceptance but a small piece of satirical news has bounced me right back into the anger phase. Even if it is fake news, this is too much. Mrs May must up her game and not worry about back...

I grew up in a world where reading was a normal pastime. I didn't have access to many books at home but I was an avid library fan. I went every Saturday to borrow two books (we were only allowed two, I hid as many as I could for the following week behind the encyclopedia). I also got two books for my...