Welcome to the first regular edition of the Foundations newsletter for 2015

This edition brings you news of a wide range of upcoming events, including a national conference to launch the publication of the new Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Wellbeing Scales (SSTEW) as used in the SEED research.

We also bring you news of consultations which might affect those working in the early years, including a Home Office consultation on draft guidance on the Prevent duty, and a DfE consultation on revisions to Working Together to Safeguard Children.

As always do keep in touch at, and follow our twitter account  and facebook page for all the latest early years news. 

Best wishes for the year ahead.

The Children’s Partnership


Tuesday 3rd February, Phonics Training, Brighouse

Friday 6th and Saturday 7th February, Nursery World Show, London

Saturday 7th February, Working with babies training, Bradford

Thursday 26th February, Learn Explore Debate, Manchester

Friday 27th February, Learn Explore Debate, Leeds

Friday 27th February, Parent Infant Relationships: Past, Present and Future, Oxford

Saturday 28th February, Maths in early years, Studley

Tuesday 3rd March, Learn Explore Debate, Birmingham

Tuesday 3rd March, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities LED, London

Wednesday 4th March, Learn Explore Debate, Bristol

Thursday 5th March, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities LED, Birmingham

Friday 6th March, Learn Explore Debate, London

Monday 9th March, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities LED, Manchester

Tuesday 10th March, Early Childhood Matters, London

Thursday 12th March, Conference: Achieving Excellence in the Early Years, London

Friday 13th March, Learn Explore Debate, Northumberland

Tuesday 17th March, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities LED, Leeds

Wednesday 18th March, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities LED, Northumberland

Tuesday 24th March, Sharing Knowledge Seminar, Leeds

Wednesday 25th March, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities LED, Taunton

Thursday 26th March, Sharing Knowledge Seminar, London

Exemptions for schools from registering 2 year olds separately with Ofsted from 2015
The government is legislating to remove the requirement that schools should register their early years provision for two-year-olds separately with Ofsted. Subject to the approval of parliament this should come into effect for September 2015. In a recent open letter to schools on government reforms, minister Sam Gyimah wrote:

“Crucially, we are working to remove the need for schools to register their provision for two-year-olds separately with Ofsted.  As this change will be in place for September 2015, I wanted to give you sufficient notice to begin your planning now.”
Consultation on revisions to “Working Together to Safeguard Children”
The Department for Education is seeking views on three substantive revisions to the Working Together to Safeguard Children statutory guidance, published in 2013. The three proposed changes being consulted on 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 also includes a series of more minor proposed amendments to the guidance. The consultation closes at 5.00pm on Tuesday 3rd February and can be accessed by clicking here.
Consultation on Prevent Duty
On 18 December 2014, the Home Office published for consultation, draft guidance on the Prevent duty. This duty is part of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, which will apply to a wide range of bodies supporting children and young people, including all local authorities, schools, sixth form colleges, registered childcare providers and providers of children’s social care. 

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.

Read more about taking part in the consultation here
Ofsted to inspect early years initial teacher training 
From April 2015, Ofsted will inspect early years initial teacher training providers which provide training for those working with children up to five years of age. This is part of a drive to help raise standards in nurseries and early years settings.

Ofsted currently inspects initial teacher training in the primary, secondary, and further education phases. However, this is the first time that early years initial teacher training will be inspected.

Learn Explore Debate Events – February/March
4Children are pleased to announce the next round of the free Learn Explore Debate events which we run as the Department for Education's Early Years and Childcare's strategic partner.
The topics covered include:
  • Early Years and Childcare Policy overview
  • The Early Years Pupil Premium
  • Updates on specific streams of work:
    • Assessment within the EYFS
    • Sector led improvement
    • Role of parents within the EYFS
    • Department of Health policies
  • An update by a representative from Ofsted
Read more here

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities LEARN EXPLORE DEBATE EVENTS
4Children and The Council for Disabled Children are pleased to announce a second series of free events which are being delivered on behalf of the Department for Education.
The topics to be covered will be :
  • Update on the work of 4Children and Council for Disabled Children and Partners in relation to SEND.
  • The importance of whole setting high quality Universal practice
  • Working in partnership to understand best outcomes for young children
  • Case studies of emerging practice in relation to implementing the SEND Code of Practice
  • Creating opportunities for a learning culture in settings through CPD.
Representatives of Dfe have been invited to attend the events.
Read more here 

Early Childhood matters: Sector Led Quality Improvement - Innovative Next Steps
Tuesday 10 March 2015, Central London

Introducing the New Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Well-being Scales (SSTEW) as used in the SEED research; the EYPP tool kit and new material for parents to support their children’s learning and development. 

Join 4Children and chair Professor Edward Melhuish in London for a unique opportunity to hear and experience the soon to be published SSTEW Scales and be one of the first to receive your very own copy of the scale and receive 5% off the SSTEW training course.

The Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Well-being (SSTEW) is an exciting new scale which considers practice that supports children in developing skills in sustained shared thinking and emotional well-being, as well as developing strong relationships, effective communication and aspects of self regulation. It is designed to be used for research, self- evaluation and improvement, audit and regulation by the sector – for the sector.

The day will focus on:
  • The aspects of the scales - including sustained shared thinking and emotional well being
  • The SEED Project: Applying the Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Well-being scale in practice
  • Supporting parents with their children's learning and development
  • Latest materials to support the introduction of the EYPP
Read more about the conference and how to book here
Sharing Knowledge Seminars
Supporting and working with parents to narrow the gap
Regional practical seminars
Leeds – 24 March 2015, London – 26 March 2015

It is crucial for parents to have access to resources to help them support their children to flourish.  Evidence is robust in highlighting the importance that parents play in supporting their children’s learning and development.  It is therefore crucial that the early year’s workforce are confident in their knowledge, understanding and skills to enable parents and have knowledge of the resources available. 

These seminars are aimed at those working with all children and families who work with parents, provide support to parents to ensure that we continue to narrow the gap.

Go to to book on one of these informative seminars. 
Contact a Family
SENDirect - choice and control for families

SENDirect is an online service that allows families of children with additional needs to find, compare and buy activities, support and services. A ‘Tripadvisor’ type website for families trying to access local services. Launched on 21st January 2015, SENDirect will revolutionise the way services for children with additional needs are designed and commissioned. It will make it easier for organisation and providers like you to promote your services. For the first time, families will be able to find services like yours quickly – and feel confident that their child will be welcome. SENDirect has been set up in response to recent changes in legislation – the Children and Families Act and the Care Act. SENDirect supports local authorities to fulfil their local offer duties. It is funded by the DfE. Find out more and register your service at

Read more here
Family Action – Childcare in Schools
Free inclusion workshops

If you are interested in developing inclusion for children with SEND in your school-based childcare provision, please sign up for one of these free workshops:
  • Monday, 2 March 2015 (9.30am to 3pm) at QEII Jubilee School, Westminster, London
  • Wednesday, 17 March 2015 (9.30am to 3pm) at The Headway XCentre, Exeter
To find out more and to book your free place, please email

Online support

Visit the Learning Exchange website for numerous free templates, top tips, news articles and useful links to help you develop school-based childcare provision.

For example:
  • Find out how other schools approach school-based childcare
  • Look at our new section offering information and ideas about developing inclusion for children with SEND in school-based childcare and holiday activities
  • Look at our new web section on developing school-based provision for 2 year olds
  • Sign up to our latest Learning Exchange e-bulletin
  • Visit our Learning Exchange Facebook page for training suggestions, services, ideas, events and other information related to school-based childcare and holiday activities for children with SEND, particularly in the North West.

National Literacy Trust
Video highlights benefits of Early Words Together

A new Early Words Together video shows why 90% of parents who took part in the programme would recommend it to others. Early Words Together is a targeted, literacy peer education programme for families with children aged two to five that empowers parents to support their child’s early learning, through small group sessions.

"Early Words has meant that not only have the pupils and their families have benefitted from much needed support, but this has had the desired ‘knock on’ effect in the classroom in raising standards. Families now have the necessary skills to support their child’s learning development." Head teacher, Ankermoor Primary School

Watch the 3 minute video here and read more here
The NDNA Conference will take place on 11th and 12th June at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. It’s a great opportunity to meet other nursery practitioners and hear sector experts and speakers including inspirational ‘Bionic Woman’ Claire Lomas, the first person to complete a marathon in a pioneering ‘bionic’ suit. Book your places HERE before 1 March and save up to 37%.

The NDNA Nursery Awards will also offer you the chance to showcase your nursery. Six awards include Nursery of the Year and you can register at Remember, these are the only awards voted for by parents. Voting closes 22nd March.
OXPIP Conference 2015
Parent Infant Relationships: Past, Present and Future 
Friday 27th February, 2015

Speakers include: Tim Loughton MP on the work of 1001 Critical Days and PIP-UK. Prof. Anne-Marie Kilday on the history of infanticide, Pasco Fearon and the NSPCC's Chris Cuthbert on what the future holds.

PLUS: Robin Balbernie chairing a session of updates from PIP-UK and the growing network of PIPs.

This conference is suitable for anyone working with parents and babies and interested in perinatal mental health. Tickets £75.

Our conference is taking place at Unipart Conference Centre, Unipart House, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2PG. Parking Available. Lunch included. Booking via Oxboffice.
Early Education
Conference: Achieving Excellence in the Early Years

On 12 March 2015, Early Education are holding a conference focused on helping primary heads, leaders and governors to raise the quality of foundation stage provision in schools, and celebrating the launch of our new book on the same theme: Achieving Excellence in the Early Years. The conference programme includes workshops and keynotes from contributing authors Marjorie Ouvry, Kathryn Solly, Amanda King, Linda Pound, Di Chilvers and Vicky Hutchin. Details of the book and conference can be found on the Early Education website.  

Areas of Learning booklets
In response to popular demand, we’ve relaunched our popular Areas of Learning booklets, which give up-to-date insight into good practice on a particular topic or area of learning and provide the key principles for helping children develop.  The first two “More than Numbers” and “The Great Outdoors” are available now, and “More than ICT” will be available in the next few weeks.

Read more here
I CAN’s Chief Executive Virginia Beardshaw awarded CBE in New Year’s Honours List

I CAN, the children’s communication charity’s Chief Executive, Virginia Beardshaw was awarded a CBE for services to children with special needs and disabilities in the New Years Honours list.

Ms. Beardshaw has been highly influential in the field of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) since her appointment as I CAN Chief Executive in 2005.

Read more here
Teach First
Teach First has expanded to the Early Years

Teach First is a national charity committed to tackling educational disadvantage.

We find, train and support people to become brilliant teachers, inspiring the young people who need them the most. Our third cohort of Early Years (EY) participants will be entering the classroom in September 2015 and we place EY participants in settings throughout London, South East and the West Midlands. The incoming participants will complete the Leadership Development Programme whilst working full-time towards a PGCE in your setting.

As we continue to expand our work in the EY, we are looking to partner with schools looking to recruit driven, passionate people to train and teach in their school. All EY participants receive bespoke training to enable them to make the greatest impact within your school. To find out more about partnership, please visit our website or email Elizabeth McAuslan.
Nursery World
Nursery World Show 2015

The Nursery World Show 2015, organised by the team at Nursery World, is for everyone in the early years community. The show will take place in London on 6th & 7th February. Please visit for all the information on the free exhibition & live workshops, plus booking info for the seminars and masterclasses, hosted by expert early years speakers. The Nursery World Show 2015 will be a great opportunity to share best practice, talk to the sector’s suppliers, network with your peers and find inspiration that will support and enhance your practice.
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