Truss criticises child-centred nursery play

Schools minister Elizabeth Truss has criticised nurseries, saying they are encouraging toddlers to have bad manners and to behave in an unruly manner.

Interviewed in today’s Daily Mail, Truss said many nurseries were filled with toddlers “running around with no sense of purpose”. She compared the British system with the French where there are more structured sessions led by a graduate-level teacher who is greeted with a hello when they enter the room.

“This isn’t about two-year-olds doing academic work – it’s structured play which teaches children to be polite and considerate through activities which the teacher is clearly leading,” she told the Mail. Truss believes this would prepare children better for primary school. She said only a thrid of UK nurseries had this kind of system and many believed that child-led free play was compulsory for toddlers.

Last week Ofsted announced new measures aimed at improving satisfactory nurseries. Meanwhile, the Government is considering plans to raise the ratio of children to carers at nurseries to cut childcare costs.

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