Putting the record straight on our Early Years Provision in Medway

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Following the disappointingly negative and spiteful messages emanating from the Medway Labour Group following  todays Medway Messenger positive article about our Nursery provision here in Medway, I thought I would put the record straight.

It is only right that nurseries are evaluated on many different criteria. Our Nursery and Pre Schools , with our team here at Medway Council are working hard to make real improvement and this means tackling the difficult problems and not just grasping the low hanging fruit of chasing league tables.

You will have seen how keen I am on meeting with our hardworking students and teachers and seeing the difference that’s already been made, to this end I visited many of our Nursery and Pre School settings in Medway during the past year, one of them being the Hopscotch Pre School in Hempstead, Medway and I am pictured above with  the Managing Director Carolyn Bassindale BA Hons ECS EYPS.

What I am proud of, is that nationally 60% of pupils achieved a Good level of development in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile  in 2014.

In Medway, this was 4% higher at 64%, placing Medway in the top quartile.

More importantly however this was a steady 7% improvement on 2013, and is the 8th consecutive year of annual improvement in Medway. However, we need to be doing more for the remaining 36%, because being in the top quartile, is not enough.

Nationally 53% of children from the most disadvantaged areas/households attain the Good Level of Development.

In Medway 59% of children from the most disadvantaged areas/households attain the Good Level of Development.

This ranks Medway in 18th= place out of 152 Local Authorities.

In Medway there are 101 Private , Voluntary and Independent (PVI) settings of various ownership models and scale.

The latest data (Nov 2014) shows that we currently have 85% of PVI settings now at grade 1 or 2.

The pace and trajectory of improvement is marked, with 36 PVI settings achieving an improved grade in their most recent inspection (moving up at least one grade boundary), and only 7 declining. The result of effective support and challenge by the local authority early years team.

This improvement is due to the hard work that Nursery and Pre School Settings with the support and guidance of our Early Years team here in Medway have been making.

We are all determined to keep moving forwards and I would say to the Labour Group,  if you’re as determined as I am, then I challenge you to get involved and help bring the community forwards.

A good start for this would be the cessation of your constant negative portrayal of our Pre School, School, Teaching Staff and Pupils achievements here in Medway.

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