Sue Gregory, who has been director of early childhood at Ofsted for 13 years, has announced her retirement, leading to the appointment of two new national directors for early childhood, one for early years and one for childminding.
In speaking of her time as national director Sue Gregory said ‘it has without doubt been an extremely busy and at times a challenging period, but one where we have made real headway in our drive to improve early years provision through better inspection and regulation.’
Ms Gregory will retire at the end of December and Ofsted have announced that Nick Hudson (who has been working as the Regional Director for the North East, Yorkshire and Humber) will be the new national director for early years, while Lorna Fitzjohn (the South West Regional Director) will become the national director for childminding.
There has been some outcry from the sector who have asked why Ofsted have decided to split the role of national director into two, raising concerns this may cause a divide in the sector but Liz Bayram, Chief Executive of PACEY, has said ‘PACEY’s role as the professional association for everyone in childcare and early years means we are well placed to work with both Lorna and Nick to ensure that the views and expertise of the entire breadth of the childcare and early years sector are heard. In particular, we will be working to ensure they understand just how integrated group and home based childcare is, and that regardless of setting type, all practitioners are part of the EYFS. We will continue to communicate our members’ – childminders, nannies and nursery workers – key issues and concerns to them as these policies develop.’
In addition to this June O Sullivan, CEO of LEYF, wrote on Twitter of a ‘very helpful meeting’ with Nick Hudson saying that he is ‘keen to develop regional structure and improvement idea’.
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