Letter of the week in Nursery World

I’m letter of the week in Nursery World this week. Thanks to everyone who has written in with comments on this blog. To read the letter, follow this link:


And here’s the copy itself:



‘I am keen to learn from the experience of those at the sharp end,’ writes David McVean, new Director of Curriculum Development QCDA, in his letter about the exemption process from the EYFS (4 March).

Okay, David. To my knowledge, we are the only parents in a state-funded school to have applied (and been refused) what they call a ‘parental exemption’ to the Early Years Foundation Stage Learning and Development Requirements.

We applied last August, with the ‘cogent set of beliefs’ demanded by the Government. (I am a Quaker and my other half is an atheist). I also documented our application and the entire process on a popular grassroots blog at http://www.parentsguidetoeyfs.wordpress.com.

Disappointing, David, that you feel comforted by the ‘tight’ timeframe and the fact that ‘an applicant is only exempt once a decision is made by the Secretary of State’.

Our feelings as parents and as a family, put bluntly, are as follows.

The parental exemptions process is a farce and an infringement of the human rights of any child.

Any parent who looks up to, trusts or relies solely upon the advice (and spin) of the Government or Secretary of State to ‘educate’ their child is, in our opinion, in a very sorry state indeed.

For reasons of political expediency, the Government is unable to admit that the EYFS learning and development requirements are, educationally speaking, a huge mistake. Soon after the election they will be changed, but too late for many of our children.

Our child started school at just over four years. In the first week she was sent home with homework in her school bag. We have enjoyed reading together from an early age but wholly reject the developmentally unsound EYFS targets the Government has tried to impose on us. So, for the past six months, homework has stayed in the school bag. Since she is of non-compulsory school age, we see no reason why we should do it.

The school, thankfully, has at last realised that as a family we are not gullible enough to swallow Government propaganda about EYFS profiling. Last week our daughter won a prize at school for best portrayal of a character from a storybook. Aged just four, she chose Pippi Longstocking.

David, to use a well-worn but still effective phrase, ‘we weren’t born yesterday’! Stop your ‘spin’. Like Pippi, the many movements to abolish the EYFS compulsory learning and development requirements and the profiling are now strong enough to lift a horse with one hand.

Frances Laing, http://www.parents guidetoeyfs.wordpress.com

– Letter of the Week wins £30 worth of books


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