Select Committee on Education and Employment Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


APPENDIX 42

Note by Committee staff on Visit to Haringey: Thursday 15 June 2000

Members: Mr Barry Sheerman, Valerie Davey, Mr Michael Foster

  Specialist Advisers: Ms Rosemary Peacocke, Professor Kathy Sylva

  Committee Staff: Mr Liam Laurence Smyth (Clerk)

1.  PEMBURY HOUSE CENTRE FOR CHILDHOOD

  Presentation on the Haringey Early Excellence Network

  The Haringey approach to Early Years.

  Jean Brown Councillor, London Borough of Haringey

  Zena Brabazon Head of Early Years and Play, London Borough of Haringey

  Val Buckett Head of Pembury House

  Melian Mansfield Deputy Chair, Haringey Early Years Partnership

  Angie Syme Family outreach, Pembury House, Centre for Childhood

  Jennifer James Childminding Development Worker, Pembury House, Centre for Childhood

  Julie Humphries Deputy Head of Centre, Pembury House

  Sandy Jeeto Senior Nursery Offices, Pembury House. Centre for Childhood

  Nola Brand Governor, Pembury House, Centre for Childhood

  Bev Johnson Principal Officer Early Years and Play, London Borough of Haringey

  Andrew Christianson Advisory Teacher (new schools), London Borough of Haringey

  Yvonne Webley Training Administrator

  Ros Cooke Head of Centre, Park Lane Family Learning Centre

  Joanne Henry Out of School Trainer, Training Centre

  Janet Chesterman Early Years Training Leader

  Marius Avraam NVQ trainer and assessor

  Ms Brabazon welcomed the Sub-committee and introduced those present. Haringey was keen to share its ideas on how to use additional resources to benefit the early years. The 2000-2001 Early Years Plan outlined a web of activity aimed at the regeneration of an area where levels of unemployment remained stubbornly high. Poor housing unscrupulous landlords and flows of asylum seekers were among the challenges faced particularly in the east (Tottenham) half of the borough of Haringey, which stretched to relatively prosperous areas such as Muswell Hill and Highgate in the west. There were more than fifty first languages spoken among children in Haringey.

  The Sub-committee toured the nursery school and saw examples of good practice, including covered areas for outdoor play, planning for play centred activities, and a good ratio of adults to children.

2.  PARK LANE FAMILY LEARNING CENTRE

  Zena Brabazon Head of Early Years and Play, London Borough of Haringey

  Ros Cooke Head of Early Years and Play, London Borough of Haringey

  Janet Chesterman Head of Early Years and Play, London Borough of Haringey

  Melian Mansfield Deputy Chair, Haringey Early Years Partnership

  Bev Johnson

  Sarah Hargreaves Sure Start Mature Programme Manager

  The Park Lane site had formerly had a health clinic and a nursery school. The site had been redeveloped with the private sector to provide a mix of housing and social use building, including a new nursery school and childhood centre on two floors, with an adequate outside play area.

3.  WOODLANDS PARK NURSERY AND CENTRAL SURE START DEVELOPMENT

  Zena Brabazon Head of Early Years and Play, London Borough of Haringey

  Melian Mansfield Deputy Chair, Haringey Early Years Development & Childcare Partnership

  Carole Warden Head of Centre, Woodlands Park Nursery Centre

  Sarah Hargreaves Sure Start Manager

  Julian Grenier Deputy Head, Woodlands Park Nursery Centre

  Julie Howe Health Team Manager, Sure Start

  Khalida Deen Childminding Development Officers, Woodlands Park Nursery Centre

  The Sub-committee Chairman and the specialist advisers toured the nursery school, which included provision for very young children, and saw examples of good practice in the arrangements for mealtimes and for outside play.

  The Chairman also saw the building works nearing completion for a Sure Start centre to be attached to the Nursery.

4.  ROWLAND HILL CENTRE FOR CHILDHOOD

  Zena Brabazon Head of Early Years and Play, London Borough of Haringey

  Melian Mansfield Deputy Chair, Haringey Early Years Partnership

  George Meehan Councillor, Leader of London Borough of Haringey

  Sue Edle Councillor; Member for Education, London Borough of Haringey

  Anne Becker Acting Director of Education

  Julie Vaggers Head of Centre, Rowland Hill Centre for Childhood

  Rosalind Obanishola Teacher, Park Lane Family Learning Centre

  Ros Cooke Head of Centre, Park Lane Family Learning Centre

  Julian Grenier Deputy Head, Woodlands Park

  The Chairman and specialist advisers toured the Rowland Hill Centre and saw examples of outstanding practice in integrating children with special needs in a nursery setting. Special swings had been imported from New Zealand.

  In a wide-ranging discussion over a sandwich lunch, the points made included:

    —  Haringey was piloting Cabinet style local government. The current Member for Education had been chair of the education scrutiny committee on the council, and had stood for her present office as part of a troika, with two deputies to assist her in a very challenging role.

    —  Haringey was working with schools to make improvements leading to a re-configuration of special schools and had developed expertise in a whole school approach

    —  Reception classes were increasingly being recognised as part of a distinctive foundation stage

    —  Sure Start presented the way out of poverty for many families

    —  there should be a national framework for pay and qualifications for early years practitioners

    —  the additional costs of provision for the early years should be placed in context with the potential savings of the costs to society in later life from the prevention of social exclusion

    —  settings run by social services without a DfEE number could not access the funding streams for early years provision

    —  the Early Learning Goals were academically rigorous and required the most exquisite training to be delivered without falling into the error of over-formal teaching.

  The Chairman thanked all those who had contributed to an excellent visit, and he invited them to send any further comment on views in writing to the Select Committee, which would be publishing its Report later in the year.

June 2000


 
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