Education minister expected to endorse nursery start at age two
An education minister will endorse a proposal that toddlers should start learning in nurseries. Liz Truss is expected to back Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw's proposal that two-year-old children engage in a structured nursery programme.
Good quality childcare is "all that matters", according to an education minister, who will announce plans to structure nursery education in an attempt to bridge the gap between low income and middle class pupils.
The Department for Education wants a "school-led system that is self-improving" in early years, which Liz Truss believes should be achievable without huge expense.
Sir Michael Wilshaw - who spoke about this last week - is absolutely right.
The early years are vitally important, and they're our best opportunity to eradicate the gap before it gets any bigger...
That's why we have been simplifying the red-tape, making it easier for good providers to expand.
Schools, nurseries, private providers, childminders - as long as you're providing good-quality childcare, that's all that matters - and there is a place for everybody.
An education minister will tomorrow endorse the chief inspector of schools' vision for more teaching in early years, despite a wave of criticism of the plans.
Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw sparked controversy last week with a call for more youngsters to start learning in school nurseries from the age of two, saying it would help break a cycle of disadvantage which sees poorer children fall far behind their classmates by the time they are five.
In a speech in London tomorrow, education minister Liz Truss will back the chief inspector's position and set out plans to improve and expand teaching in early years.
Restrictions have been removed so that any school can open a nursery and school nurseries can open for longer hours to fit in with parents' work schedules, she will say.