CREC COVID-19 update: 10 weeks on


Like all organisations and individuals, we have been facing COVID-related challenges. But 10 weeks on, we continue to work for and with our partners, colleagues and students in this new odd reality and here's an overview of our recent activities.


Our city-wide collaborations

As you know, the lockdown rules are being relaxed and early years settings, as well as primary schools, reception classes, and Years 1 & 6 have been advised to commence a phased return back into schools. We have been assisting the Birmingham LA with navigating the government guidance and translating it into a realistic, deployable and tailored plan for schools and settings across the city, and one that is first and foremost concerned with our children’s wellbeing.
We’ve have also been looking ahead, in collaboration with Birmingham Nursery Schools Collaboration Trust and Birmingham City Council, to support the establishment of the Birmingham Early Years Networks that will support the raising of Early Years quality across the city by offering targeted CPD and support on a district-by-district basis. You can find out more by visiting the brand new website here: 

Other projects underway

CREC has also been busy completing evaluation reports for Staffordshire County Council and Stoke County Council on a joint early communication and language project funded by the DfE. We also recently completed a report for The Scouts, who have piloted various models for working with early years aged children and engaging children and families from more diverse backgrounds than they traditionally have. For more information, and to read the full CREC report on the Scouts EY provision, please click here .
We have also completed a review of recent research and literature on the Early Years workforce for The Sutton Trust focusing on what has happened since the publication of the Nutbrown Review in 2012. It is hoped that this will be published by The Sutton Trust before the end of this month and we will keep people posted via our usual channels.


Our postgraduate courses and CPD days

We have continued to deliver learning and support to our teacher trainees and MA students virtually and have also been designing a calendar of our postgraduate courses and CPD days for the next academic year. Applications are open and underway for both SCITT and our Master's  programmes. While many higher education institutions are expected to continue to deliver their courses remotely, we are hoping we will still be able to offer face-to-face taught days to at least some of our continuing and prospective students.
We have always chosen to teach in small cohorts to ensure that there is plenty of opportunity for discussion and interaction – this approach fits well within a socially distanced world and we, therefore, hope to continue to offer face-to-face teaching in the new academic year, albeit with some minor physical adaptations to ensure everyone’s health, safety and wellbeing. Our small cohorts also mean continued personal and tailored approach from our tutors and the wider team, as well as closer collaborations and networking with your peers.


We continue to work remotely

As a team, we are still working remotely, patiently awaiting updates on reopening of the St Thomas Children’s Centre in Birmingham where we’re based. While we’re all keeping in touch through twice-weekly team catch-ups  – a healthy mix of work, banter, and show and tell of gardening achievements, we look forward to chatting to our team mates in our little CREC kitchen and welcoming our students and colleagues back with some coffee, biscuits and tea lights!

We wish our CREC community good health and positive thoughts as we carry on in these strange times. We would love to hear your news and anecdotes, so please do continue to engage with us via social media or email if you would like to share your experiences.



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