The TES is reporting that the public spending watchdog has said more research needs to be done into how the £2.7 billion spent on early years education is affecting school standards.
Screenshot from the NAO report
The report from the National Audit Office (NAO) also warns that an expansion of free childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds could reduce the number of places for disadvantaged 2-year-olds, because providers fear there is not enough funding for both.
“Many parents and children are benefitting from the entitlement to free childcare, but the Department [for Education] does not yet know what long-term outcomes it is getting for its investment of nearly £3 billion a year,” said Amyas Morse, head of the NAO.
“In rolling out the new entitlement the Department should use and evaluate its pilots to make sure that certain groups do not inadvertently lose out. It is particularly important that the number of disadvantaged 2-year-olds accessing free childcare continues to rise, in line with the Department’s own aspirations,” she said.
The study said there had been a rise in the number of children assessed by teachers as having reached a good level of development at the end of reception, from 52 per cent in 2013 to 66 per cent in 2015.
However, there was a large gap of 18 per cent points between the proportion of disadvantaged children reaching these levels compared with their peers…
Read or download the report in full:
The NAO raises a number of potential concerns in the report – what do you think the key issues are and do you welcome the points made?
Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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