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Early Years Programme Receives Glowing Report from Independent Auditors

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An independent audit of the University of Worcester’s delivery of the Early Years Professional Status has highlighted 11 strengths and two areas of good practice.

In 2011, the University was awarded one of only eight national contracts to educate and train Early Years Professionals in England. The University is the lead provider of the new Early Years Initial Teacher Training Programme, working with partners across the West Midlands and South West regions.

The Quality Assurance Agency has carried out its first audit of the programme since its introduction, resulting in a glowing report.

Head of Early Childhood at the University, Dr Karen Hanson, said: “The QAA highlighted 11 strengths and two areas of good practice in our programme, which is fantastic. We work very closely with our partners to provide excellent training for Early Years Professionals, who are already having a significant impact on the lives of many young children across the region.”

The auditors found that there was a “thorough and effective quality assurance and action planning process, which is leading to measurable improvements.” They further commented that interactive practical sessions “give candidates a sound understanding of how to meet Early Years standards”, and there were “effective management and access arrangements”.

This important national programme, comprising four different training pathways for both undergraduates and postgraduates, will provide excellent training for approximately 700 new Early Years professionals across the two regions by March 2015.

It will enable the University of Worcester and its partners to make a major national as well as regional contribution to the national drive to continue to raise the quality of the Early Years workforce.

Ann Jordan, Acting Head of the Institute of Education at the University, said: “The University already has a really strong focus on making a difference to the lives of children and their families. The dedicated Early Years team at the University of Worcester are right at the forefront in educating the teachers and professionals who engage in this vital work. We are delighted that the QAA auditors found that our programme was meeting expectations and identified so many strengths and areas of good practice.”

Worcester has a long history and excellent reputation for its work in educating professionals working with young children. The University’s work in both Primary and Secondary Education is graded Outstanding by OFSTED and the University’s graduates in teaching are right in the top tier for employment in the country.

As the lead provider and contract holder, the University of Worcester works in partnership with Newman University, Birmingham; University of Gloucestershire; University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth; and the Somerset Centre for Integrated Learning (SCIL) to deliver training across the West Midlands and South West. Applications are now open for September 2013 with the launch of the new Early Years Initial Teacher Training Programme.

For information on courses at University of Worcester visit www.worcester.ac.uk or for application enquiries telephone 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk