The Open EYE campaign kicked off on Friday 30th November with the publication of an open letter in the Times Educational Supplement. Simultaneously, The Times led with the story of Open EYE’s concerns, and other news media including The Guardian and the BBC also picked up the story. Links can be found on the Media coverage page.
Reaction was immediate, with the Department for Children, Schools and Families accusing Open EYE of ‘scare-mongering’. Children’s minister Beverley Hughes wrote to The Times, arguing that “We have the wholehearted backing of the vast majority of early years specialists, who think that the EYFS fits with their flexible approaches to learning.”
Open EYE intends to test this claim with a detailed survey.
In other news, Open EYE will be holding a conference in London on Saturday February 16th, with the provisional title of “EYFS and Its Discontents: Children’s Early Learning and Psychological Well-being“. Speakers confirmed so far include Professor Lillian Katz, Penelope Leach, and Sue Palmer (author of Toxic Childhood).