Dear Early Excellence   Leave a comment

Dear Early Excellence,

This letter is in response to the tweets and facebook comments you have directed at me, it seems that despite responding to these remarks and writing three blogs to explain why I object to baseline testing, you still don’t ‘get it’.

So to try and help you understand , I have decided to resort to a simple ‘YES / NO’ system.

  • Do I like gathering information at the start of the reception year   NO
  • DO I like basing predictions for future achievement based on assessment at 4 years of age   NO
  • Do I want to scrap baseline testing      YES
  • Do I want EYFSP to stay in place instead of replacing with baseline     YES
  • Do I want want EYFSP to stay in place forever       NO
  • DO I like gathering of information at the end of the early years foundation stage against ‘goals’    NO
  • Do I want EYFSP replaced with assessment without levels, that will ONLY be used by those working directly with the children    YES


I hope that is clear

It is often difficult to judge things on a YES / NO response, which from comments I have read from those doing the pilot baseline assessment, is proving to sometimes be an issue.

Humans are complex INDIVIDUALS who do not need benchmarking during childhood, there are various other ways to assess  if teachers are providing enabling environments, without having to base those judgements on if the children meet targets, or make sufficient progress against pre set criteria or predictions.

Of course sometimes it is necessary to have entry requirements met for various ADULT employment and even higher education – but even then the requirement to meet set criteria via tests is often not the most efficient method to recruit those who will succeed in those things.

The whole test culture needs changing in my opinion, but that is another campaign. However, I will continue to campaign against implementing NEW assessments and NEW target setting for children, and I will continue to campaign to change the existing assessments and targets.

I am an individual, who campaigns at my own cost and in my own time, because it is a matter of principle and ethos to me not because I will gain anything personally from doing so.

Early Excellence are a company whose business is based on selling things – (including baseline assessment) to those who care for and educate children, and this includes tendering for Government projects. So it is not a surprise that Early Excellence has a different view on things, and not a surprise that Early Excellence choose to target individuals who express a different view to theirs.

Finally, in case you still don’t understand my ethos and my objection to baseline assessment, and my support for EYFSP to stay in place UNTIL we can replace it with something better not worse, here is another of those situations where I support something that I don’t agree with or want to continue.

I am a foster carer, I (together with my husband) provide a loving family home for children whose life experiences so far have not been positive.


That does not mean I want children to be in foster care, and I am actively campaigning for children and families to have the support they need to prevent this from happening, and for children to have the childhood they need.

So in the case of my fostering, I am supporting something that I want to end, but for the time being foster care is best option, as much better than staying in homes where they are at constant risk of harm.

Much the same as EYFSP, it needs to end, but for the time being is a better option than baseline assessment


Penny Webb

Posted October 19, 2015 by psw260259 in My thoughts on current childcare issues

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