A report examined the available evidence on the quality of early childhood education and care for children under three, drawing on international research primarily from the United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, and New Zealand. The report concluded that developmental benefits were only achieved if children were able to attend good quality provision. It made a range of recommendations, including: for better qualified and better paid staff; to ensure good 'social mix' among children; for appropriate and stimulating physical environments; for the further strengthening of the Ofsted inspection system; and for the delay of the roll out of the early education initiative until the government could ensure consistently good quality provision.
Source: Sandra Mathers, Naomi Eisenstadt, Kathy Sylva, Elena Soukakou, and Katharina Ereky-Stevens, Sound Foundations: A review of the research evidence on quality of early childhood education and care for children under three – implications for policy and practice, Sutton Trust
A report examined the performance of schools that had converted to academy status in England, by comparing their performance in Ofsted inspections in 2012-13 (against the new Ofsted framework) with that of local authority maintained mainstream schools. It said that, for primary converter academies, those previously rated as outstanding were more likely to retain that rating than local authority maintained mainstream schools, while those previously rated as good or satisfactory were more likely to improve. For secondary converter academies, it said that: those previously rated as outstanding were marginally more likely to retain that rating than local authority maintained mainstream schools; those previously rated as good were more likely to be subsequently rated as outstanding (and were also less likely to achieve a lower rating); and those previously rated as satisfactory were more likely to improve that rating than local authority maintained mainstream schools.
Source: Performance of Converter Academies: An analysis of inspection outcomes 2012 to 2013, Department for Education