Saturday, 5 July 2014

Quick quiz about early years, nursery schools and nursery teachers

I'm delighted to be offering a workshop at the NUT's Education Conference later today. Part of my presentation is quick quiz about early years with a particular focus on teachers and the early years. 


A major, independent report on the early years was launched with the suggestion that “child benefit could be linked to parents' attendance at parenting classes” and claimed more than two-thirds of children are receiving a sub-standard preschool education. 
Who? When?

Will staff with the new “Early Years Teacher Status” be qualified teachers who can teach any class in a maintained primary school? Will they be able to teach a class in an academy?

A major American study started in the 1960s tracked 123 children born in poverty and at high risk of failing in school. Some of the children were randomly assigned to high quality preschool provision. The study found that adults at age 40 who had the preschool program had higher earnings, were more likely to hold a job, had committed fewer crimes, and were more likely to have graduated from high school than adults who did not have preschool. See Figures 1 and 2 for more information. True or false?

When and where was the first maintained nursery school established in the UK?

In which year did Ofsted say: “Looking only at the overall judgements given, nursery schools perform considerably better than other types of early years provision.”

Which Secretary of State for Education announced a “10-year programme for educational advance”, substantially increasing planned expenditure on nursery education and planning to more than double the number of nursery teachers from 10,000 to 25,000?

Which Minister of State at the Department for Education said to the Select Committee: “nursery schools should not get special treatment”and “there are 16,339 school nurseries and 418 nursery schools. Do I support high quality teacher-led provision? Absolutely, wherever it is. But to say that these 418 are better than the 16,000 school nursery classes, we do not have any evidence for that. Why should it be that because they are a maintained nursery school they get extra money. That is not equitable. I think it would be invidious of the Government to pick out particular schools for extra funding because of their structure.”

Who was Prime Minister when the “Early Excellence Programme” was launched, aiming to integrate early education, childcare and services for families? Who was the minister in charge of the programme?

Who has reported that nursery schools were the only part of the school system which “perform as strongly in deprived areas as more affluent ones”?

A government-sponsored research programme carried out by the Institute of Education and Oxford University reported that:

  • Settings that have staff with higher qualifications have higher quality scores and their children make more progress. 
  • Quality indicators include warm interactive relationships with children, having a trained teacher as manager and a good proportion of trained teachers on the staff.
  • Where settings view educational and social development as complementary and equal in importance, children make better all round progress.
  • Effective pedagogy includes interaction traditionally associated with the term “teaching”, the provision of instructive learning environments and ‘sustained shared thinking’ to extend children’s learning.
  • Integrated centres that fully combine education with care and have a high proportion of trained teachers, along with nursery schools, tend to promote better intellectual outcomes for children.  Similarly, fully integrated settings and nursery classes tend to promote better social development even after taking account of children’s backgrounds and prior social behaviour. 

What is the name of this research project, who commissioned it, and when was it carried out?

Who was in power when the Minister of State at the Department of Education approvingly quoted the Select Committee’s view that: “care and education for the under fives are complementary and inseparable” and “that considerable value can be gained from the employment of teachers in day nurseries, We recognise that some attempts to achieve this have not succeeded, partly because teachers have felt isolated, and day nursery staff have felt threatened.

When the pilot programme to evaluate free places for two-year old was evaluated, what sort of benefit was there found to be for the children? How much money do you think the coalition is committing to enable the programme to expand next year? What do you think is the opinion of the Sutton Trust about the programme?

Download the quiz and see the answers [PDF]