11 Apr, 2014

Ofsted | Are you ready? Good practice in school readiness

The aim of this survey was to capture how the most successful Early Years providers ensure disadvantaged and vulnerable children are better prepared to start school. Her Majesty’s Inspectors visited children’s centres, childminders, pre-schools, primary and infant schools providing for pupils within the Early Years Foundation Stage. The providers were selected because they were successful in achieving good outcomes for children in deprived areas.

Age group: 0–5 Published: April 2014 Reference no: 140074

Ready for school? Children’s readiness for school.
  1. The term ‘school readiness’ features in many reviews of education and statutory guidance. However, the precise characteristics of school readiness and the age of the child to which it applies are interpreted variously by the providers we visited. There is no nationally agreed definition.
  2. The Allen Report encouraged the promotion of the best early intervention programmes to make sure that all children are able to be ‘school ready’ at 5.[1] The Field Report set out the importance of pre-school and looked in particular at how home background determined a child’s readiness for school.[2]

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The Tickell Report found it helpful to consider it from the perspective of its opposite – school ‘unreadiness’ – and described how most children begin

[1] G Allen, Early intervention: the next steps, report of the independent review of early intervention, Cabinet Office, 2011; Report: Early-intervention-the-next-steps-2 

[2] F Field, The foundation years: preventing poor children becoming poor adults, report of the independent review on poverty and life chances, Cabinet Office, 2010;