Pupil Voice in Review Meetings

6 04 2014

Pupil Voice in Review Meetings is a really important element. In this clip, taken from the Complex Needs training materials, ( http://www.complexneeds.org.uk), Sophia attends and contributes to her review meeting.


1 04 2014
March 2014

Press Release
March 31st, 2014
- for immediate release -

Save Childhood Movement calls for      policymaking that puts children first

Manifesto for the Early Years
Putting children first
A collaborative publication by the members of the Save Childhood Movement’s Early Years Advisory Group.

Published 31st March 2014

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” 

The Early Years sets the foundation for societal health, wellbeing and future prosperity

Across the political spectrum there is now consensus that early years provision is important for children’s development and for helping parents – especially mums – into work. As identified by the IPPR the question of ‘what is best’ for young children is, however, a point of huge contention among researchers, policymakers, commentators and politicians – not to mention parents. Some argue against public involvement in the care of young children in principle, while others assert the importance of parents (usually mothers) being able to stay at home to look after their children (1)

In its manifesto ‘Putting Children First’ the Save Childhood Movement argues that governments must put the best interests of the child at the heart of all early years policymaking and expresses its concern that this is not currently the case. It calls for a much stronger focus on relationships and the importance of family life, highlights the importance of developmental readiness and confirms the dangers of pushing through universal childcare without the appropriate evidence base and significant investment in improving the current quality of provision.


As stated by the OECD “Expanding access to services without attention to quality will not deliver good outcomes for children or the long-term productivity benefits for society. Furthermore, research has shown that if quality is low, it can have long-lasting detrimental effects on child development, instead of bringing positive effects.” (2)


Putting Children First – The 3 Key Elements

1 an integrated, holistic and appropriately financed system built upon
2 an evidence-based understanding of the child as
3 a citizen with developmental rights and freedoms


Developed by the members of the movement’s expert Early Years Advisory Group, and with the backing of the larger sector, the manifesto sets out the three key elements and 11 key policy points that should to be taken into account for the development of an appropriate Early Childhood Education and Care System (ECEC). With the 2015 election in mind the movement is calling for all political parties to incorporate the identified elements in their own manifestos and to acknowledge the urgent need for a better balance between economic aspirations and child and family wellbeing.

Wendy Ellyatt, Chief Executive, Save Childhood Movement says: 


“We are currently very concerned that universal childcare provision is being pushed through in England without due attention to the vital quality of care that includes developmentally appropriate environments, greatly improved parental support and engagement and the training and empowerment of a skilled workforce. One of the key aims of any ECEC system is to allow every child to flourish and to achieve his or her full potential and we feel there is a real danger that without the necessary quality controls English children will be greatly disadvantaged.

With this manifesto we are arguing that the best needs of the child should be at the heart of all future policymaking, that we need to acknowledge and better support the vital importance of family and community life and that there needs to be a national debate about the values that we wish to see nurtured in larger society.” 


Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green Children’s Commissioner for England, 2005-2010: 

“Children are our nation’s most precious resource, and as Neil Postman has said in his book ‘The Disappearance of Childhood’, ‘They are the living messages to a time we will not see.’ We ignore their importance at our peril, yet this Manifesto for the Early Years’ from the Save Childhood Movement comes at a time of unprecedented financial and political turbulence leading to austerity and cuts to state spending accompanied by zealous reform of education policy. What is in danger of being lost from the debate are the best interests of the child.

‘Putting Children First’ is an outstanding evidence-based document that should be read by every Parliamentarian and Government Minister as well as those formulating policy, alongside professionals directly involved in the care of young children in partnership with parents and carers.”


Liz Bayram, Chief Executive, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY):

“We wholeheartedly support the 11 policy points raised by the Save Childhood Movement. They offer a timely reminder to all political parties that a high quality early years experience in its broadest sense supports all children to reach their full potential and that childcare is about far more than just supporting parents to work and children to do well in school.”

Neil Leitch, Chief Executive, Preschool Play Association: 

“In an environment of continuous change and growing uncertainty, the early years sector is in absolute agreement that one priority never changes, its commitment to giving every child the best experience of care and learning.

As early years policy is increasingly directed at getting parents back to work and competing in the global economy, we need to ensure that our children are not viewed as numbers on a Government spreadsheet or figures in an economic model.  The ‘Manifesto for the Early Years – Putting Children First’, gives the sector a shared voice and focuses on what’s really important – the interests of the child.”    
Beatrice Merrick, Chief Executive, Early Education:
‘We welcome the Manifesto for the Early Years, which captures what really matters in its title “Putting Children First”.  Early years policy must be evidence-based, and the evidence shows us that positive home learning environments and high quality early childhood education are the best ways of giving children a good start in life.  Politicians must not rush to expand the quantity of early years education and childcare without first ensuring that the quality is right’ 
1. Double Dutch: The case against deregulation and demand-led funding in childcare, Institute
for Public Policy Research, 2012   
2.  Starting Strong III – A Quality Toolbox for Early Childhood Education and Care, OECD, 2012

- Ends -

Notes to Editors

For further information or to request an interview, please contact SCM Press Officer Hattie Garlick e:hattie@savechildhood.net m: 07796 266 705


Save Childhood Movement
Putting Children First

Exploring the psychological, social and 
neuro-scientific foundations of happiness and wellbeing


Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb

1 04 2014

Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb

This blog post by John Hamilton discusses research from the New England Journal of Medicine suggesting the changes organisation of the cortex are more prevalent in children with Autism. It also contains a range of links to resources about Autism.

For colleagues in Ireland – National Conference on Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

1 04 2014
For colleagues in Ireland – National Conference on Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

FASD 2014 Flyer

Mental Health Standards for Schools.

20 03 2014

Mental Health Standards for Schools.

The focus in the new Code of Practice ( Special Educational Needs ), on ‘ Social, Mental and Emotional Health’, will bring a new challenge to schools , but a timely one. At long last teachers have a mandate to do something constructive in the area of Mental Health, and create a curriculum and pedagogy around Emotional Well Being.
Even the Office of National statistics has reported that for every 5 children on a school’s SEN Register, 3 will experience some mental health issue. In the area of Autism it is 6 in every 10 pupils.
With this clear mandate from the DfE we can move forward to help our pupils and students with Mental Health needs. The new Mental Health Standards, published by Butterfly Print,(butterflyprint.co.uk), offers excellent guidance on how to do this is a coherent and systemic way.This company also produces Mental Health journals which would work really well in giving focussed support to children with these needs in schools settings.
I highly recommend these materials.

Children in Foster Care.

18 03 2014

Children in Foster Care.

Successive Governments have expressed concern about the academic attainments of ” Looked -after children”. The Rees Centre at the University of Oxford , has been founded to research the role of Foster Carers. Their latest publication, ” Effective parent and chid fostering; and International Literature Review” , brings together a wealth of information in this field, that give a solid foundation for the consideration of key issue based on international research findings. Keep an eye on the work of the Rees Centre, ( under the Directorship of Professor Judy Sebba,) rees.centre@education.ox.ac.uk.

Teachers need to be vigilant in monitoring children born prematurely.

18 03 2014

Teachers need to be vigilant in monitoring children born prematurely.

This news clip from BBC Scotland highlights the importance of understanding how premature birth can impact on a child’s learning , and effective schooling.
Dr Nashwa Matta attended the Conference on this topic in London , in 2013, organised by the National Forum for Neuroscience in Special Education. 
Upon her return to her post in Scotland she took the initiative to organise her own Conference to stimulate thought and debate across Professional groups on this rapidly emerging topic.
Maybe others could follow her lead?
Reports and resources on educating the prematurely born child can be found on this website using the ‘prematurity’ tag


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers