Best Practice

Alarm at Ofsted’s Reception conclusions

Bold or premature? Ofsted’s small-scale report into the Reception curriculum has alarmed many with its dismissal of softer skills and focus on quick starts and rapid progress. Suzanne O’Connell reports

Ofsted’s investigation into the curriculum was always going to be a controversial one. As we await the final report on the curriculum as a whole, we are offered a taster in their Bold Beginnings – a summary of good practice in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Or is it?

In January 2017, chief inspector Amanda Spielman commissioned an Ofsted-wide review of the curriculum. Bold Beginnings: The Reception curriculum in a sample of good and outstanding primary schools is the first instalment, published in November.

The tone of the report was perhaps already indicated in Ms Spielman’s discussions with the Education Select Committee in October when she said: “Full compliance with the Early Years Foundation Stage framework still doesn’t mean that children are well-prepared for primary school.”

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