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DfE Updates – EYFS and KS3 Overview

Sep 15th 2023

As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of education, it’s essential to stay informed about the latest updates and changes in official documents from the Department for Education (DfE). In this blog post, we’ll bring your attention to some updates in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and ‘The Reading Framework,’ both of which have important implications for teachers across the UK.

Updates in the Statutory Framework for EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage):

The DfE has introduced several key changes in the Statutory Framework for EYFS. Here’s a quick summary:

  • Staff-to-Child Ratios for Two-Year-Olds: Confirmation that the current statutory minimum staff: child ratios in nurseries and pre-schools in England for two-year-olds can change from 1:4 to 1:5. *Changes are optional and all other ratios will remain the same.
  • Childminder Ratio Rules: Clarification on the flexibility around childminder ratio rules – specifically, childminders can care for more than the specified maximum of three young children, providing this number includes their own child(ren) or the siblings of children they already care for.
  • Safe Eating Practices: Further detail around safe eating practices, stating that “adequate supervision” while children are eating means that children must be within sight and hearing of an adult

There are no changes to curriculum coverage. However, there are some proposed changes relating to qualifications. The Department for Education has proposed changes to early years staff qualification requirements as part of a wider consultation on the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. The consultation includes proposals to remove the requirement for level 3 educators to hold a level 2 (GCSE or equivalent) maths qualification and instead apply this requirement to managers only. Introducing an ‘experience-based route’.

Updates in ‘The Reading Framework’ for KS3:

Published in July 2023 by the Department for Education, ‘The Reading Framework’ offers valuable insights for KS3 teachers and literacy leads. Many secondary schools have already implemented strategies recommended by the DfE, such as dedicating time to reading aloud during form time.

Through our work in various high schools, we have seen a rise in time dedicated to the reading aloud of texts during form time. Our schools have reported this to be a successful strategy in engaging pupils with reading for pleasure and encouraging them to enjoy a wide range of texts. Although it is not a statutory framework, the DFE recommendations validate what many secondary schools have started to promote themselves.

Here is a summary from the Key Stage 3 section on ‘Reading aloud to pupils’ page 101:

  • Form Time Reading: Form teachers should read texts in tutor time as well as subject teachers reading aloud texts relevant to their subject
  • Fluent Reading Modeling: Teachers should model fluent reading, showing how to pronounce unfamiliar vocabulary and developing students’ vocabulary and wider knowledge
  • Impact on Learning: When done well, reading aloud to pupils is a powerful driver, impacting on reading, education, social and emotional well-being
  • Optimal Environment: Pupils should sit comfortably with no distractions; it can be an enjoyable shared experience for all

We are breaking the new reading frameworks down in our Subject Leader portal which will be arriving in October 2023. To stay up to date with the reading frameworks and our subject leader portal, subscribe to our newsletter here.

You can find The Reading Framework here.

You can find The Statutory Framework for EYFS here.