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Children's cognitive attainment and progress in English primary schools during Key Stage 2: Investigating the potential continuing influences of pre-school education

This paper examines the longer term impact of pre-school education and care on children's cognitive attainment and progress in England using data for a sample of over 2550 children drawn from 141 pre-school settings collected as part of a major longitudinal government funded mixed methods study of Effective Pre-school and Primary School Education (EPPE 3-11). It explores attainment outcomes measured at age 10 (Year 5 of primary school) in reading and mathematics and progress in these areas between ages 6 and 10 using multilevel models. Several measures of pre-school experience -- including duration in months of attendance, quality of pre-school experience (measured by systematic observations), and effectiveness of pre-school (derived from value added analyses of young children's developmental progress in pre-reading and early number concepts prior to primary school entry) -- are tested as predictors of later cognitive outcomes. The impact of the quality of the primary school attended measured by independent value added indicators of academic effectiveness is also explored. Small but significant continuing positive effects on children's attainment and progress for measures of pre-school quality and effectiveness are found. The analyses identify child and family background factors that predict attainment and progress, particularly the mother's highest qualification level and the home learning environment. Significant primary school effects are also identified and the combined influence of pre-school and primary school influences on attainment is modelled. The policy implications of the results are discussed. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United Kingdom; England

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