Early Years Professional Exchange

Date: 04 January 2018

As part of the Education and Training Foundation’s wider Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA) programme, Professional Exchanges have been developed to support practitioners to work collaboratively to develop their skills in teaching, learning and assessment.

Within the Professional Exchanges, special projects have been commissioned to look into specific areas of interest, of which the Early Years project is one.

The first round of Early Years Professional Exchange meetings took place in early December, with both groups partaking in lively and stimulating discussion which was then fed into the group as a whole.

The issues discussed, which relate to challenges within Early Years curriculum, focused on the recruitment and retention of Early Years students in terms of them being on the right level of course to progress. The groups also discussed why they felt learners were not being stretched and challenged to reach the higher grades. Another hot topic was the development of digital skills for both teaching practitioners and learners to ensure they are workplace ready, in addition to:

  • academic staff often have outdated industry experience
  • mental health issues and high needs of learners
  • learners not being work ready on entry
  • English and maths targets resulting in additional burdens.

The next round of Networks will focus on “finding solutions” and identifying what specific and targeted professional development is required.



Jo Shirley – Head of Professional Development

E: [email protected]

T: 07805 566004