ERIC Number: EJ764335
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Reference Count: 35
Developments in UK Early Years Policy and Practice: Can They Improve Outcomes for Disadvantaged Children?
Potter, Carol A.
International Journal of Early Years Education, v15 n2 p171-180 Jun 2007
Despite strenuous attempts made by the New Labour government in the UK to progress towards its goal of eradicating child poverty by 2020, educational outcomes for disadvantaged children remain depressed compared to those of more advantaged children. The fact that children from poorer socio-economic backgrounds are at much greater risk of language delay, which is a key predictor of poorer educational outcomes, indicates that there is a fundamental need to enhance the language abilities of these children in their early years in order to improve educational progress. This paper discusses the extent to which two new major UK policy initiatives may impact on this situation, namely the introduction of the Early Years Foundation Stage, a new curricular framework for children aged from birth to five, and the development of the Early Years Professional role, seen as key to the implementation of this framework. The discussion concludes that due to insufficiently rigorous conceptual underpinnings, especially in the area of language and communication, these innovations seem unlikely to deliver the type of language-enriched preschool environments necessary to enhance the linguistic capabilities of the poorest children in UK society.
Descriptors: Outcomes of Education, Educational Change, Educational Objectives, Disadvantaged Youth, Poverty, Delayed Speech, Language Acquisition, Foreign Countries, Preschool Education, Language Skills, Educational Policy, Skill Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom