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Services for Young Children

Hampshire Leading Foundation Stage Practitioner

If so, the Leading Foundation Stage Practitioner Scheme could be just what you are looking for.

What is a Leading Foundation Stage Practitioner?

Each Leading Foundation Stage Practitioner (LFSP) provides a support service for all early years practitioners. Interaction with a Leading Foundation Stage Practitioner

‘will enable you to share your ideas with a wider audience, learn from the experiences of others and tap into a wide range of help and support.’ Thornton and Brunton (2007)

They support settings and practitioners in the private, voluntary and independent (PVI) and maintained sectors in a variety of ways, including:

  • offering advice to all practitioners in early years settings (including reception classes)
  • supporting settings in developing their EYFS practice and provision
  • visiting settings or arranging for practitioners to visit their provision
  • delivering INSET to settings in areas of learning/practice where they have a particular expertise
  • modelling and coaching in their own and other’s settings.

Leading Foundation Stage Practitioners (LFSPs):

  • have been identified by the District Advisory Team as having excellent early years practice
  • are advocates for early education that is rooted in play based learning
  • have at least three years of recent experience working with early years children
  • are currently working with early years children (birth to five)
  • demonstrate and continue to develop principled early years provision and practice
  • have passion about the early years and improving outcomes for children

LFSP Profiles     

LFSPs have completed a skills and expertise audit of their practice. They have also identified and documented their current developments and interests.

See individual LFSP profiles Microsoft Word 1MB.


How can LFSPs help?

LFSP’s can:

  • offer support and advice to all practitioners in early years settings (including reception classes);
  • help you develop your EYFS practice and provision;
  • provide outreach work as well as receive visits;  
  • deliver INSET to settings in areas of learning/practice where they have a particular expertise;
  • model and coach in their own and other’s settings.

What do others say about LFSP support?

Practitioner Comments following LFSP support - Describing the changes in themselves:

I’ve become more assertive, confident in general. It’s almost because someone is saying to you “Give it a go it will work just be strong.

It gave us the confidence to say “it does work, you’ve just got to give it a chance” and us as managers our confidence has improved a lot both because we’ve done a management course but also sharing information with another professional, “well this will work, well try this” that gave us the confidence to say we are going to give this a go and we want you to try it, so it did go better than us just coming in and saying shall we, shan’t we or we’re going to do this whether you like it or not sort of attitude. It was better for us that it came from someone who does it.   

Taking it further we had a EYFS evening for parents and other settings to come in and explain all the reasons for this, lots of other settings attended and about eight families and we also did a hard copy about EYFS.  

Then having the confidence to share your journey’ (long pause) and also…and I have become cluster practitioner as well… since the visit. Again (named LFSP) gave us lots of positives on that…. And (names advisory teacher) had asked us about it and we thought shall we … we are not really that good, and should we shouldn’t we… she said yes you are, she gave us a push on that and so we’re now in the process of organising visits for other settings to visit other settings and we are going to make that a real positive, we’re keeping records of the changes we have made and why we’re able to take that into other settings as well when we do our visits.


How do I apply for Support?

Services for Young Children District Advisory Teachers (DATs) provide information and the process of requesting LFSP support.

Request for support

If you would like support from a Leading Foundation Stage Practitioner, contact your District Advisory Teacher at your local Services for Young Children office.

Where can I meet an LFSP?

Watch out for:

  • LFSP exhibitions
  • LFSP setting twilights to view and discuss practice
  • LFSP talks at local network meetings
  • LFSP workshops at Conferences
  • LFSP displays at big events

How do I apply for the LFSP role?

Who should apply?

Any practitioner who:

  • has at least three years of recent experience of working with early years children
  • is currently working with early years children (birth to five years)
  • can undertake the role for at least one year, preferably two  years to ensure continuity
  • is demonstrating and developing principled early years provision and practice
  • is passionate about the early years and improving outcomes for children
  • is reflective and has a proven commitment to professional development.

The Process

Interested practitioners need to ensure they meet all the essential criteria on the Expression of Interest Form including the support of their owner/manager/chair of committee / supervisor/ head teacher.

All short listed practitioners will be visited by a member of the Services for Young Children team. This visit will include time in the applicant’s room, and a short discussion with the applicant’s owner/manager/chair of committee/ supervisor/head teacher.

What should I do?

Read through the Expression of Interest Form and discuss with your line manager/head teacher/supervisor/chair of committee/owner. You may also wish to discuss the opportunity with others who support your setting (see the list of professionals on the Expression of Interest form). Ensure you provide all relevant information and allow time for your manager/head teacher/supervisor to fill in their section.

Expression of Interest Forms can be requested from your local district office or from:

The Admin Officer

Services for Young Children,
Hampshire County Council,
Mill Hill Children’s Centre,
Mill Road,
PO7 7DB.


What is a ‘Growing LFSP’?

What is the role of a Growing Leading Foundation Stage Practitioner?

A Growing LFSP is an early years practitioner who has developed their practice effectively and will have honed specific skills and expertise and identified and planned their future developments. They will feel confident in sharing their journey so far with others as a means of support and guidance that can be utilised in this role.

The Growing LFSP may support an experienced LFSP or a member of the District Advisory Team engaging in the delivery of workshops at conferences or exhibitions and support at network meetings.

How does the ‘Growing’ Leading Foundation Stage Practitioner scheme run?

The Services for Young Children will fund the equivalent of 7 days release time for the Growing Leading Foundation Stage Practitioner to develop their practice, attend training and engage in LFSP commitments.

All new Growing Leading Foundation Stage Practitioners will participate in an induction programme during which their link person from the District Advisory Team will be identified. The LFSP and member/s from the advisory team will then work together to identify and plan their early years developments and possible support that can be provided for practitioners, usually within their locality.

This has been a successful route for practitioners to further their knowledge and become familiar with the LFSP role and consequently many Growing LFSPs have successfully applied for the LFSP role.


Leading Foundation Stage Practitioner Exhibition - 24 February 2016

Would you like to see examples of best practice in the early years?

If you are keen to increase and develop your understanding of 'Early Years' then come along to the Leading Foundation Stage Practitioner exhibition at the University of Winchester.

See this poster  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 318kB for further details.


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