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New report shows emerging downward trend in qualification levels

The Education Policy Institute has published a comprehensive analysis of the early years workforce in England. It examines staff composition, qualifications, pay and other trends at a provider, national and regional level, and assesses the implications of these findings for the future of early years provision.

Read the full report

Key findings 

  • There is an emerging downward trend in qualification levels
  • The proportion of staff working towards a higher qualification has dropped by 11 per cent between 2008 and 2013, from 34 per cent to 23 per cent
  • Almost half of graduate early years staff are over 40, a fifth are over 50, and they’re not being replaced by younger graduates
  • Working in school-based settings provides more financial incentives for staff to progress up the career ladder, with a substantial wage differential
  • There is an increasing reliance on unpaid staff; as many as 16 per cent of staff in Reception classes are unpaid volunteers
  • Turnover for early years staff is also increasing.