GCSE Maths and English at Grade C+ to start EYE
  • Will the requirement to have GCSE English and Maths at Grade C or above before starting Level 3 Early Years Educator courses lead to many potential practitioners exiting the sector after Level 2 or going in another direction?
  • Yes. I had 83 level 2s all with experience and good functional skills who wanted to progress onto level 3 and they can't. It is a racist policy which is excluding 1000s of women. These women are a vital part of our sector and have committed several years to training in both cc and fs and now they are excluded. Many have degrees and quals in their home countries but they also came back to training when they're children started nursery and now have a year left until they will be forced into employment by the job centres so even if they do their GCSEs this year they still wont be able to do their level 3. NOONE is shouting about this blinded by the ridiculous notion that GCSEs are the gold standard, they're not.
  • Firstly, it's flawed. I've just completed my EYITT and don't have GCSE maths ( have just re sat it for my own CPD). I have three equivalencies. So I can study up to level 7 but can't become a level 3 EYE? Flawed.
    Tutorish, I don't see how it's racist though. Can you clarify?
  • I've got 35 employees in a Pre-School Nursery (Charity) in Brighton, many of whom fit the profile of either being over 40 (and too old to learn new tricks), or under 25 and under-achievers at school.

    Whilst 75% of them are NVQ3 or higher, only 25% of them have got both English & Maths GCSE Grade A-C. So at some point in the future, they're going to be barred from further self-development, even though they still face 20-40 years in employment.

    I also have another 10% of my staff are not UK-educated, so they don't have any GCSE's, even though they may be educated to NVQ4 or NVQ5 in their own Country. Over the years I'd had people from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, USA. I'm sure someone is going to uncover an EU-regulation which prevents us from excluding them if they don't have UK school qualifications.

    Personally I don't think you need to have the rigour of GCSE English & Maths to work with 3-4 year olds : you do need to be able to read, tell a good story, teach numbers up to 20, shapes and colours. If its so important, why don't we insist on that level of education before you can become a parent?

    For those of them with school-age children, which is most of them, they've got a full-time job, and then family/home responsibilities. I can't afford to give them paid time-off to attend school during the day, they might not be free or have enough energy to do so in the evening or at weekends, so when are they going to find the time to actually go do 100's of hours of classwork to get the qualifications they failed to get when in full-time education?

    Finally, I've got an Honours Degree in Maths & Physics as well as post-graduate Management Diplomas; I've worked as a volunteer Trustee in childcare for over 25 years, in the role as Treasurer, as well as working in the Financial Services Industry for over 25 years on a 6-figure Income. My wife has been a full qualified Doctor in London Hospitals and as a GP before having 4 children, and then resuming work as a Science Teacher for 10 years.

    NEITHER of us have BOTH English & Maths GCSE Grade A-C (due to poor teaching in the 1960's we both got a 'D' in 1 or the other), so neither of us could enrol in an NVQ3 for Childcare.
  • This is a really interesting topic to me. I live in Hong Kong (originally from England) and am the Deputy Manager of an International Kindergarten that caters for children that do not speak Chinese (Cantonese is the mother-tongue of most Hong Kong children) and we run the EYFS curriculum. The kindergarten is run in much the same way as those in the UK, the children that are enrolled are from multiple backgrounds and are aged from 3 yrs-5/6 yrs (depending on whether they will go through the international system or the local one).

    The requirement, since 2012, is for all kindergarten teachers (yes they are called teachers) to have a university degree (preferably in early years education) and a teaching qualification that specialises in early years education - much like the PGCE for primary school teachers in the UK. Although this does not necessarily mean that all those teachers will have at least a C in maths and English at GCSE level (and like some of you that have commented above, a lot of teachers are from places other than the UK anyway), but it has set the bar high and provided a minimum level of education for early years workers.

    This has fostered an understanding that all early years teachers should be highly knowledgeable, with clear abilities within their own learning. The hope is that this will, in turn, reflect on how they educate the young children in their care.

    Although I sit on the fence somewhat as to whether a C in English and maths is essential for proficient early years practice, it is clear that the UK is not the only country looking towards upping the anti on the education of early years professionals.

  • Hi Abigail Really enjoyed your comments here about the EYFS in China! I'm currently writing an article for Nursery World about nurseries that use the EYFS abroad. I'm looking for a Chinese nursery to feature in the piece. Would you be interested in telling me more about your nursery, why you use EYFS, and how it works in your setting? If so, could you drop me a line at gaby.joz@gmail.com? I'm hoping to speak to people this week or early next week, so it would be great to hear from you asap! Thanks and all the best! Gabriella
  • Not all training companies insist you have these qualifications. I am a Children and Young People assessor based in Glasgow. My candidates are not required to have certain qualifications in order to undertake the svq level 3 however they are interviewed and employed before commencing. If I have a candidate that does not have ICT, English or Maths then they can undertake core skills throughout their training period.
  • the law is now different in england ashleigh. you can't get funding if over 24 without gcses, you can however pay for yourself BUT you don't get your qualification until you do your gcses. if you're under 24 you can do them alongside but if you fail them you fail your level 3.
    the point is i think that gcses are not as much use as functional skills which are life applied and make far more sense. the new law is racist and excludes women who have been studying to progress to 3 with level 2s and fs. their skills and talent are now wasted as many started training when their kids went to nursery and now have a year to complete before job centres start bullying them, so a year on gcses to do a level 3 is pointless.
    such a waste
  • HI Abigail we run a chain of daycares in Finland running the EYFS and the laws in finland regarding qualified staff sound very similar. We have huge problems finding qualified English speaking staff, add that to the fact that they also need to understand and run the EYFS it becomes very difficult indeed. It would be interesting to know how you train your staff in the EYFS system as I'm sure we share some of the same issues.
    As for the qualification issue. I really strongly feel that we could loose some great intuitive early years educators if we insist on this route. We teach our children to learn through the medium that suites them best. Sometimes I feel this is a con as because as soon as they reach 7,8 or possibly 9 we force children down the chalk and talk route. This is where I was lost along with hundreds of others. Many of whom were and still are creative and intelligent people. So yes we need the academic side of the coin, but I run the EYE persons qualification in Finland and its amazing what people can learn through what they enjoy doing best. So please whoever is out there let people learn the skills they need by doing the job they love to do.
  • While I understand that basic maths and a good understanding of English is important. I think it's a real shame that many people are now stopping at level 2. I have an NNEB and because I have a D in maths was told that i would have to retake it if i was to further my career. I have been working with children for the last 37yrs and have no intentions of going back to college just to get a GCSE in maths. Surely the love and understanding of a childs development and common sense is more important than a maths GCSE! Ihave worked alongside people from both ends of the spectrum and my best assistant ever was the least qualified.
  • its a disgrace bumblebee. Functional skills are far more useful we are working with under 5s we do not need algebra! its also racist
  • This is such a sensitive subject judging by all of the comments I have just read.

    However, I do see the point in the new EYE qualification trying to raise the standards of those who work with young children. I do agree that GCSE English, grade C or above should be achieved but not a GCSE in mathematics. In my opinion, a GCSE qualification in math is not necessary in the early years sector. A good command of the English language is necessary for the purpose of writing reports, attending meetings and conferences and to collaborate effectively with other professionals. I have just completed the Cache Level 3 EYE course and had to complete a GCSE standard test before i was signed up. This was because, like many others, I achieved a CSE grade B in the mid eighties. As for mathematics, that was a complete disaster. I got a CSE grade D. I practised GCSE standard English and maths for my own benefit as well as for the purpose of completing the course.

    As for nursery nurses who qualified before the new EYE course, I do not think their days are numbered. This is because I read somewhere that the NNEB qualification is still very much full and relevant at level 3 (source: Early Years Qualifications List, DfE). How does one even police nursery nurses without GCSE's (grade C and above) in maths and English?
    I doubt very much that headteachers and senior managers will bother. What is more important is the paediatric first aid requirement that became compulsory in April 2017. Would you agree?


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