Ofsted early years report 2015 – the benefits of pre-school for disadvantaged children

Ofsted has published its latest report into early years education. It recommends for more parents of two year olds to take up the offer of free childcare, particularly those that come from a disadvantaged background.

Comment from Edward Melhuish, Professor of Human Development, Birkbeck, University of London and Professor of Human Development, Department of Education, Oxford University:

“The Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education research that followed up 3000 children up to the end of school found that every month of early education that children received after 2 years of age added to their educatiuonal attainment later on.

All children benefitted but the poorest children have most to gain from good quality education at all stages of preschool and school.”

Comment from Julian Grenier, National Leader of Education, early years researcher and head teacher of a nursery school and children’s centre in east London:

“There is good research evidence suggesting the benefits of pre-school are higher for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Duration of attendance in months is important; an earlier start, under age 3 years, is related to better intellectual development, although full time attendance led to no better gains for children than part-time provision. Disadvantaged children benefit significantly from good quality pre-school experiences, especially where they are with a mixture of children from different social backgrounds.”

Note to journalists: evidence referred to is: ( Sylva, K et al (2008) Final Report from the Primary Phase: Pre-school, School and Family Influences on Children’s Development during Key Stage 2 (Age 7-11) (ref)

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