How to stay up to date with latest legislation


Hi and welcome to the child care blog
There are some interesting developments taking place in the early years sector at the moment, and as always, it’s important for all practitioners to stay up to date.
Firstly, the government is currently taking action to remove the current legislative requirement for schools to register their early years provision for two year old children separately with Ofsted. We expect that this will receive the final necessary approval from parliament in September 2015, in time for the next school year. Minister Sam Gyimah has written to schools recently to give them sufficient notice to allow them to plan accordingly for the change.
The Department for Education has also been carrying out consultation to gather views within the sector on three proposed significant changes (and also some minor amendments) to the Working Together to Safeguard Children statutory guidance, which was published in 2013. The three proposed changes cover the referral of allegations against those who work with children, notifiable incidents involving the care of a child, and the definition of serious harm for the purposes of serious case reviews. The consultation period ends in early February, and we will revisit this once a report on the consultation is published. It will be important for all early years settings and practitioners to ensure their safeguarding policies and procedures are kept updated in line with any subsequent changes to the guidance.
The Home Office has also been consulting with the early years sector on draft guidance called the Prevent duty. Prevent is concerned with the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill. This is relevant to diverse organisations working with both children and young people. This include all local authorities, schools, registered childcare providers and providers of children’s social care. We are told that, “Education, childcare and children’s social care providers are already responsible for keeping children safe, including from the risks of extremism and radicalisation, and for promoting the welfare of children in their care. The Prevent duty will reinforce these existing duties by spreading understanding of the risks and current good practice across the country.” Again, we will revisit this when a report on the consultation has been published.
In another new move intended to raise standards in early years settings, from April this year Ofsted will begin inspecting “early years initial teacher training providers” – or in other words, the organisations which provide early years teacher status training for practitioners working with children aged 0-5 five years of age.
Ofsted already inspects initial teacher training in the primary, secondary, and further education phases. It’s been announced that inspectors will be checking on “the quality of training and the trainees’ teaching in the summer term. There will be a second stage in the autumn term when inspectors will see how well early years teachers were prepared by their training to teach in a range of early years settings where they work.”
Change is a permanent fixture within our early years sector, so keeping up with the pace is an important habit to develop for students and new practitioners.