IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE professor gives evidence to Parliamentary Education Committee inquiry

27 June 2018

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) professor Dominic Wyse has given evidence on Early Years education to the House of Commons Education Committee as part of its inquiry into life chances.

Dominic Wyse

The Committee's inquiry aims are to understand the impact that Early Years education and social policy have on determining children's life chances.

The overarching theme that developed throughout the session was a need for high-quality, Early Year specialist graduate staff with clear, recognised career progression. The panellists drew attention to studies showing that an integrated, specialist, high quality provision has highest impact.

Along with Professor Dominic Wyse, witnesses included Liz Bayram, Chief Executive, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY), Sara Bonetti, Associate Director of Early Years at the Education Policy Institute, and Beatrice Merrick, Chief Executive, Early Education.

The witnesses drew attention to the 400 maintained nursery schools in England that are available for 2, 3 and 4 year olds. Additionally, having head teachers who are themselves qualified in Early Years was noted as a significant beneficial factor and one which is not typically seen in maintained schools with nursery provision.

Professor Wyse commented on the need for an integrated birth-to-18 curriculum, allowing for smooth transition and less distinction between different education stages.

The lack of parental choice for Early Years provision was also discussed within the session, alongside the apparent lack of take-up for 15 hours of provision for two-year-olds.

The panel concluded by reiterating that sustainable funding and a formal Early Years career progression path with genuine Continuing Professional Development were the key to improving quality of provision and, in turn, life chances through Early Years funding.

The Life Chances inquiry was launched in May 2018.

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Rowan Walker, UCL Media Relations
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