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Education Committee takes evidence on the early years inquiry, 18/01/06 [S]

During their meeting on 18 January 2006 the Scottish Parliament's Education Committee took evidence on the early years inquiry. Matters discussed included the transition between early years and primary school, workforce development, and support for parents.

Evidence was heard from Learning and Teaching Scotland, HM Inspectorate of Education, the Educational Institute of Scotland and the Scottish Social Services Council.

During discussion the matter of the transition between early years and primary school was addressed. It was recognised that the two styles of learning are different and suggested that primary schools could better support children in the transition by looking at what is done in early years. It was also suggested that 0-3 years and 3-6 years ought to be looked at cohesively as 0-6 years.

The need for more advice and support for parents on how children learn was highlighted, as was the importance of staff and parents working together.

The pupil motivation inquiry was also mentioned and the need to prevent children from disengaging from learning. It was emphasised that any problems with children's behaviour needed to be identified early.

When asked how early years services could be substantially improved, the panel replied with several suggestions including staff development and qualifications, looking at links in the curriculum between 0-18 years, and inter-agency working. HM Inspectorate of Education said that a proportionate approach to how they carry out quality assurance would benefit services as they could focus their attention to where it is most needed.

Other matters discussed included workforce issues and the qualifications of staff, concerns about removing qualified teachers from the nursery school setting, and identifying support needs early.

Full details are available in the Scottish Parliament's Education Committee Official Report 18 January 2006 which is available on the Committee's page of the Parliament's website.

Further information

Scottish Parliament's Education Committee Official Report 18 January 2006