Kevan Collins in TES: ‘Parenting can bridge the disadvantage gap – the research is clear’
EEF chief executive Sir Kevan Collins has begun writing a monthly blog for the TES, highlighting areas of research that we hope will be particularly useful for teachers and senior leaders.
His first article, just published, focuses on early years education and the uncomfortable reality that the attainment gap between 5 year-olds from disadvantaged homes and the rest of their classmates is already evident when they start school. But, as Kevan notes, "there is nothing inevitable about this trajectory."
We can make a start with the poorest two- and three-year-olds. Part of the answer lies in giving toddlers from disadvantaged homes access to high-quality nursery provision, with well-trained and skilled staff. But parents are a crucial part of that equation. After all, they are our earliest educators.
His blog goes on to highlight the work the EEF is undertaking, in partnership with the Dept for Education and Leeds-based charity SHINE, to test ideas to improve the home learning environment. Our collective aim is to find out how early years settings can best work with parents to support their children in language and reading at an early stage.