‘No child will be deemed as failing’ says DFE as it hits back at Right from the Start petition

The Department for Education has posted a response to the petition on Change.org which seeks to revoke the reforms of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The DfE says the reforms support holistic learning.
The DfE says the reforms support holistic learning.

The petition, ‘Right from the start – revoke the EYFS reforms’, was launched last week by the Keeping Early Years Unique (KEYU) campaign group and now has almost 4,000 signatures.

The backlash against the EYFS reforms has gathered new momentum since the beginning of July when the DfE published a response to its consultation with the sector.

In this it confirmed that early adopter schools would go ahead with the revised framework this September, ahead of its full introduction in September 2021.

KEYU says the sector response was largely ignored and is calling for the Government to drop its plan for early adopter schools.

But in a post on change.org the DfE has defended its position, stating ‘We are aware of a petition on change.org that makes significant misleading claims about our reforms to the Early Years Foundation Stage.

‘The petition suggests that children will be deemed as failing if they do not reach particular milestones at ages four and five. This is untrue.’

It goes on: ‘We have transformed early years learning and development, focusing on equipping children with the early language, literacy, numeracy and other skills they will need as they start their school journey. The point of these reforms is to make sure early years professionals fully support children’s holistic learning and development throughout reception year. These reforms achieve that by removing unnecessary paper work to free up more time for teachers to spend interacting with children’.

Early years consultant Dr Sue Allingham said it was good to receive such a quick response from the DfE as it acknowledges that the petition has been read.

‘However using their response to reiterate their previous blog on how positive the reforms will be just serves to emphasise the points made in the petition,’ she said. ‘By suggesting that the petition "makes significant misleading claims" the writer of the response effectively directs the reader to read what the petition says in order to make up their own mind.’

Posting on twitter, Aaron Bradbury Coffey, principal lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at Nottingham Trent University said: ‘We need head teachers to start questioning this. Without their voices we don’t make change. Are you an early adopter? If so, just speak with your Reception colleagues and hear them out’.

Watch to the video to find out more about what the campaign says about the EYFS reforms.


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