Tricia Wellings

Are You Ready – for the EYFS 2017?

We’ve had a month to prepare and make changes for the new EYFS 2017 – so you can expect any inspection from today to incorporate those changes and expect them to be in place. Have you h a chance to read the new document and adapt your policies accordingly? If not then there has been some useful analysis done by the Pre-school Learning Alliance and the NDNA both of which inform you of what has changed. There has also been a Newsletter from Ofsted from Gill Jones, Deputy Director of Early Years, to their newly appointed and transferred inspectors which also informs us of what is on the horizon, including a transfer of information to a learning and engagement hub. I have also been fortunate enough to have been involved in both the West Midlands Ofsted Big Conversation and an OBC Chairs meeting in London, both of which were attended by Gill Jones and she outlined some key interests of Ofsted and informed us about their Mythbusting Campaign, which is to be launched today, a snippet of which can be read in Nursery World and the page itself, now published can be found here.

Amongst all this however, I’ve not really seen very much that tells you about what changes you might actually want to make in your setting in order to ensure that you are still meeting best practice or new legislative requirements. Whilst some things will be down to individual settings to choose how they implement here is an outline of what I think needs to be looked at in order to continue to meet the Statutory Guidance:

  • Have a greater emphasis on physical activity both indoors and outdoors. Re-ignite traditional outdoor play and not just an outdoor classroom. It’s not in legislation but there will be a focus on it.
  • Considering how well children pay attention during story times will become more of a focus.
  • Do all your staff understand FGM – have they taken the Home Office awareness raising training? Are you aware of the Home Office Resources Pack?
  • Prevent Duty isn’t new, but ‘having regard to it’ is now in the new EYFS, are you confident that your team understand it and know what actions to take? On this note an exciting new Foundation Focus FBV and Prevent product was launched in May!
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016– have you read them? Inspectors may ask you questions on them. Another new Foundation Focus product about Safeguarding is due later this year to help with this.
  • Check up on your DBS procedures, are you getting the right people checked? Did you know you have to get a new DBS if the update services indicate a change has occurred?
  • Good news on the changes to the GCSE Requirements – L2 functional skills can be applied retrospectively – can you now count staff a L2 or L3 where you couldn’t before/
  • A good time to check your medication policy and ensure it’s wording reflects the clarification around the prescription medicine, which is now in the EYFS framework.
  • Do you use the Guidance of Infection Control? It’s now included in a footnote for reference.
  • If you provide just wraparound care it has been clarified that – for children below Reception – whilst you must be guided by, you do not have to meet the learning and development requirements of the EYFS. This supports stand-alone out of schools clubs becoming involved in the 30 hour agenda for 3-4yr olds – a business opportunity for you perhaps?
  • A footnote guiding you towards the HSE for risk assessment. Something to follow up on.

Paediatric First Aid (PFA)

Did you get your head around the new Paediactric First Aid requirements? It is by far the biggest change in this EYFS and in fact one of the causes for it. In a nutshell:

  • Anyone qualified after 30th June 2016 must have an Emergency PFA by 2nd July 2017 to count in ratio, after that within 3 months of being employed if starting a new job. This doesn’t apply to those qualified before that date, who will still count in ratio with or without PFA.
  • Training must include specific content (as noted in Annex A), be delivered by an accredited provider and be 6 hours (Emergency) or 12 hours (Full). A good time to remind you all then that MBK Training is fully accredited to deliver both the Full PFA and the Emergency PFA training ether through their bookable courses or direct to settings to groups of 12.
  • Inspectors will be asking how providers ensure their PFA provider is compliant – we have completed a due diligence for Millies Mark so this acts as suitable evidence for anyone undertaking our courses and can be accessed in our downloads area.
  • You must have a list or make available to parents your PFA Certificates. Another reminder for you that we have a FREE download for registered users (it’s free to register too) which makes it quick and easy to do this.

So Millie’s Mark is not a requirement and Inspectors cannot judge you on this but in their newsletter it does say ‘it may indicate a settings commitment to safeguarding’ which whilst not being in legislation, it does mean they may consider it as being an outstanding element…

So with these changes comes new opportunities to Self-Evaluate and for those of you that have previously bought the Foundation Focus SEF Product you can expect an update supporting enhancing your SEF with the new EYFS 2017 through your Foundation Focus subscription. If you’ve not taken advantage of this excellent unique toolkit yet then perhaps now’s the time to do it.

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