A Government-commissioned review, due to be published on Wednesday, is to recommend that the curriculum for children aged five and under is reformed.
The review of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has been conducted by Dame Clare Tickell, who is to conclude that there is not enough time spent on children’s development because of the time-consuming process of filling in forms.
The review will not call for a scrapping of the EYFS, dubbed the “nappy curriculum”, but is to state that there should be a cut in the number of goals that young children are expected to achieve.
The previous Labour government introduced the EYFS, with the system becoming mandatory at the start of the 2008/09 academic year.
Under it, every nursery, childminder and reception class in England has to monitor children’s progress towards 69 centrally set “early learning goals” up to the age of five. In her review, Dame Clare, chief executive of the Action for Children charity, will say that the number of these early goals should be cut to 17.
Her report will say that the EYFS is “too bureaucratic”, with people in education jobs and primary school teachers saying that the EYFS reports they get on five year-olds are meaningless because the children are being measured against too many targets.
Speaking when the review was announced, Dame Clare said: “It is important that professionals in the early years have the time to tackle the important issues: helping children from poorer backgrounds, and those with special needs, as well as giving all children a fun and stimulating learning experience.”