Poorer early years pupils are focus of research trials

Education Endowment Foundation launches three trials, co-funded by the DfE, to improve outcomes for disadvantaged pupils

early years support

The Education Endowment Foundation has launched three new trials focused on teachers’ CPD, which aim to improve the attainment of lower-income pupils in the early years.

Two of the EEF schemes focus on improving maths teaching for the youngest pupils, while another will focus on early years leaders.


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It is hoped that the programmes will boost attainment for poorer pupils in the crucial first few years of education.

One scheme, Maths Champions, will be trialled in 140 nurseries across England. It will assist a teacher – the “Maths Champion” – to design an action plan for improving teaching in the subject.

They will be supported by the National Day Nurseries Association through training, online resources and one-to-one advice.

An earlier, smaller EEF-funded version of the trial found that children made an additional two months’ progress in maths on average compared with those who had not taken part.

A further programme, Reception Jigsaw, involves a year-long CPD scheme for teachers on five key maths teaching areas for young children: early number sense, reasoning, problem-solving, mathematical talk and questioning. The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) will be responsible for evaluating the scheme.

And 152 primary schools with nursery classes will participate in a trial of Achieving Early, a two-year coaching programme for early years leaders delivered by Achievement For All. Trainers will visit school leaders on a monthly basis to devise an action plan to improve outcomes for nursery and Reception children.

In total, 500 nurseries and primary schools across England will take part in the programmes, which are co-funded by the Department for Education (DfE) as part of a £5 million fund for early years CPD.

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author bio
Catherine Lough
Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.
Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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