Extra nursery hours may not improve attainment

Researchers warn increase to 30 hours per week could have ‘detrimental effects’

The government is planning to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to increase free nursery hours, in a bid to improve disadvantaged children’s attainment.

But researchers behind a major study tracking the lives of thousands of Scottish children warn the plan could do exactly the opposite.

The Scottish government is planning to increase free nursery hours to 30 per week during term time – which it estimates will cost £840 million per year by 2021-22. The government often refers to its plans as one of the key planks in its drive to close the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils.

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