In a report, the cross-party Commons public accounts committee said that access to a high quality early years education was supposed to have a “lasting positive impact” on standards.
But MPs found “no clear evidence” of a knock-on effect on pupils at the age of seven, raising concerns that up to £1.9bn a year is being misspent.No kidding..?
Oh, and the government’s desire to try to ignore the laws of economics isn’t working, either. How surprising…
Access to state-funded childcare was introduced under Labour in the late 90s and expanded by the Coalition. Currently, all three and four-year-olds receive 15 hours of free education each week.
But the report found that large numbers of parents were being forced to pay “top-up” fees – often equal to hundreds of pounds a month – because nurseries refused to accept the cap on state funding.Nurseries exist because they are businesses. Not because they like to mind the screaming, snotty-nosed offspring of the proletariat, and are happy to make a loss doing so...
Assessments carried out last summer showed some 15 per cent of seven-year-olds – 80,000 – were unable to read after two full years of primary school.As someone who was able to read (thanks to my parents and grandparents) before starting primary school, I find that astonishing, but sadly, less than surprising.
A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We’ve seen big year-on year improvements in children’s development at five as a result of free early education – but we know there are many factors that influence attainment at school.
“We are commissioning a major piece of longitudinal research to look at how early education impacts on later attainment and to understand more about how a high quality early education leads to better results at seven and beyond. “Well, clearly, for a significant minority, it doesn’t. So wouldn’t that research be better targeted at finding out how to identify the 15%?
Or would you not like to see the results of such research? Might it pose too many questions?