To consider the schoolification of early childhood


To consider the schoolification of early childhood.

Evidence and reflection

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ (2017, p.5). It also introduces a baseline assessment of children on entry into the reception class which will provide numerical scores on children’s attainment, which will be linked into school accountability. Simply put, early childhood education in England is underpinned by a readiness for school ideology. Palmer (2009) however argues: 'It's time we recognised that too much too soon isn't working. To give our under-sevens the best chance of growing up bright, balanced and literate, we must stop trying to fast-forward their education (p.1).


What does Palmer mean when she refers to fast-forwarding children’s education? As a reflective practitioner, what can you do to resist the downward push from primary to pre-primary education


Read the OECD (2015) International Early Learning Study (IELS), dubbed the Baby PISA, and discuss the possible benefits as well as the possible challenges of IELS for children and practitioners. Available here:


Department for Education (2017) Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Available at: (Accessed: 12 March 2021).

Palmer, S. (2009) Four Years Bad, Six Years Good, Seven Years Optimal: United Kingdom – Literacy Today. Available at: