Thousands of early years students could drop out of the sector if entry plans for apprenticeships go ahead, nursery employers have warned.

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In an attempt to raise the standards of the early years workforce, ministers intend to make GCSE English and Maths at Grade C an entry requirement for starting an early years apprenticeship at Level 3.

But sector representatives are ‘deeply concerned’ that rather than raising standards it could lead to a mass exodus of students and fewer staff qualified at Level 3, forcing settings to take on more Level 2 staff.

Earlier this year, the DfE confirmed that from 1 August 2014 students receiving Government funding to undertake the Level 3 Early Years Educator qualification will require GCSE English and maths at grade C or above on entry. Functional skills will not be accepted as equivalent to GCSEs.

The Early Years Trailblazer Group – tasked with producing the draft standard for the early years apprenticeship – is questioning the Government’s decision to make GCSE passes in English and maths an entry requirement and said that there needed to be a longer transition period.

The group has submitted the draft standard, which will now be scrutinised by skills and enterprise minister Matthew Hancock at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Read full article…

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