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Evaluating the impact of early years educational reform in Wales to age seven: the potential use of the UK Millennium Cohort Study

Taylor, Chris ORCID:, Joshi, Heather and Wright, Caroline 2015. Evaluating the impact of early years educational reform in Wales to age seven: the potential use of the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Journal of Education Policy 30 (5) , pp. 688-712. 10.1080/02680939.2014.963164

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Early years education has received considerable attention in recent years, particularly as a result of longitudinal studies that demonstrate the importance of the first few years in a child’s development and educational experience. In 2004, a new approach to early years education, the Foundation Phase, was introduced in Wales. This is a major flagship policy of the recently devolved Welsh Government, and marks a radical departure from the more assessment-driven competency-based approaches to early childhood education that existed prior to the Foundation Phase. Studying approximately 2000 children in Wales who are part of the UK Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), all born in 2000–2001 we investigate the potential impact of the Foundation Phase pilot on a range of key academic and well-being outcome measures. Compared with other children, those attending a Foundation Phase pilot school tended to have lower scores in a number of academic assessments at age seven and lower subjective well-being, in terms of their attitudes to learning and well-being at school. We consider these surprising, yet concerning, results in the context of the methodological limitations to this analysis and propose how the MCS can be further used to substantiate these findings.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 0268-0939
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 4 September 2014
Last Modified: 11 May 2023 17:45

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