Early Years Teaching Adviser

As the name implies, advisers in this category work with children who are at the outset of their education. They are employed by all types of authority and as part of continuing professional development (CPD) help promote good practice in schools providing early years education.

Work Environment
The office base is usually in the authority's professional development centre but most of the work will take place in pre-school and school settings. Advisers are part of the Integrated Early years Development Team (IEYDT) and work closely with the School Improvement Service, the Assessment Unit, Childcare and Early years Development Officers and Families of Schools under the line management of the Co-ordinator of the IEYDT. They work a standard 37 hours per week with no shift work or anti-social hours involved.

Daily Activities
In supporting the work of the CPD team, advisers will visit schools and nurseries to offer advice on a suitable curriculum for non-statutory aged children (under the age of 5) with particular attention to:

  • the needs of young children; 
  • curriculum planning; 
  • observation, assessment and record keeping; 
  • organisation and management of young children's learning; 
  • providing information for parents about early years curriculum.

Early Years Teaching Advisers will help early years schools to prepare for Estyn (the education regulators) inspections. Afterwards, they will help with the writing of action plans and the implementation of strategies for improvement. In consultation with the Social Inclusion Division they will also give guidance on meeting the Code of Practice for Special Needs and offer practical help in managing individual children's needs when they visit the schools. They have an important training role, too, in helping staff and in publicising training opportunities. Advisers work largely on their own initiative but are required to record and be accountable for time spent on different aspects of the work. This will involve them in a number of local and national meetings.

Skills & Interests
To do the job well advisers must have:

  • a strong interest in working with the under fives; 
  • an understanding of staff development and the skills required for offering training for adults; 
  • good communication, interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate others; 
  • an ability to work in partnership with professionals at different levels; 
  • an ability to work independently; 
  • a commitment to parental partnership; 
  • a thorough knowledge of how young children learn and the development of under fives; 
  • a willingness to travel within the LEA; 
  • a commitment to equal opportunities policy.

Entry Requirements
You would need:

  • a recognised teaching qualification; 
  • Registered Nursery Inspector status or a willingness to undertake training when available; 
  • experience in planning and delivering training for adults; 
  • experience of writing or contributing to guidance materials; 
  • evidence of further professional development and reflection; 
  • recent successful experience of working with the under fives; 
  • sound knowledge of the Early Learning Goals and the early stages of the National Curriculum, and in particular diverse strategies for planning assessment and record keeping.

Future Prospects & Opportunities
There are opportunities for advancement within the social inclusion units of education authorities, as co-ordinators, senior and chief advisers. Also, promotion can be attained in other parts of the service - such as areas linked with initiatives like "Literacy" and "Numeracy" - with suitable further training and qualification and professional development. The top job is Director of Education.  People often have to move to other authorities to get ahead or go to external organisations like Estyn or associated private educational companies.

Further Information & Services
Education jobs www.eteach.com
Foundation Years www.foundationyears.org.uk
General Teaching Council for Wales www.gtcw.org.uk
Estyn www.estyn.gov.uk

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales (www.careerswales.com/) or in your local library, careers office or school careers library.

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