As part of its plan for improving social mobility, the Government has committed £8.5 million to spread best practice on improving early language outcomes. A new programme of peer challenge and support for local authorities is central to this offer.

Education peers from senior early years roles are now being recruited, eg nursery or pre-school managers/deputies and early years Leads in schools. The role of the education peer enables robust assessment of how speech and language is delivered in a variety of settings.

A peer review is not an inspection. Local government leaders and experts, together with key partners — as “peers” — are at the heart of the process. Peer reviews help councils with their improvement and learning by providing a practitioner perspective and “critical friend” challenge. The make-up of the peer team will reflect the requirements of the council receiving the peer challenge. Typically, there will be three–four peers plus an LGA peer review manager in a team with reviews taking place on-site for four days. During this time, the review team will talk to a cross-section of senior officers and frontline staff, elected members, partners and observe early years practice. The team will feedback their observations and recommendations/findings from all the elements of the peer review at the end of the site visit.

For further information on becoming a peer reviewer, contact Liz Hodgman, Programme Manager through

Last reviewed 25 February 2019