Pre-schoolers whose parents provide a stimulating home life are still reaping the benefits at the age of 14, research suggests.

A study by the Institute of Education (IoE) has found that the quality of learning during a child’s early years has a strong impact on achievement in secondary school.

It reveals that children whose parents focused on their learning at a young age are generally one national curriculum level ahead in English and science, and 1.3 levels ahead in maths.

“The quality of the early years home learning environment was strongly associated with differences in attainment at Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14)”, it said.

The findings come from the Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education Project (EPPSE), which has been following the development of around 3,000 children in the UK since 1997.

The study also shows that looking at students’ background, the mother’s level of qualifications was the strongest indicator of achievement.

Students with parents who were educated to degree level were more likely to be 1.4 national curriculum levels ahead in English, 1.7 levels ahead in maths and 1.5 in science.

This is compared to youngsters whose parents had no qualifications.

The researchers also found evidence that students made more progress in English, maths and science between the ages of 11 and 14 if they were born in the autumn, and therefore older for their year group.


By Alison Kershaw

Source: Irish Independent –