What is a Quality Early Education by Professor Iram Siraj

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What is a quality early education? Why is it important and how can we measure it? Evidence from research. By Professor Iram Siraj  

The Effective Provision of Pre-school Education (EPPE) study was funded in England over 20 years ago to study whether the expansion of publically funded pre-school education was a good use of tax payers’ money. The study lasted 17 years following pre-schoolers till they left school and joined employment or further education. In answering the question, the researchers discovered that not all pre-school education is of the same value and that quality of both the pre-school (what teachers do) and the home environment (what parents do) really does matter. Professor Siraj will present the findings in relation to preschool practices and home learning environments which have a lasting impact on children’s learning outcomes and well-being. This research contributed to England going from millions to billions of funding per annum to secure the best future for our children. We are still on our journey as the early years has been neglected for decades in favour of primary and secondary education. 


Professor Iram Siraj 

Prof SirajProf. Iram Siraj (OBE) has held positions at the Universities of Warwick, London and Oxford, and has an international reputation and expertise for longitudinal research and policy. She has co-directed a number of world-first influential studies, including the Effective Provision of Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE, DfE, 1997-2015), the transformative Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years (REPEY, DfE, 2002), and the Effective Leadership in the Early Years Sector (ELEYS) studies. She has co-investigated Effective Early Educational Experiences in Australia (E4Kids, Australian Research Council 2009-2015).

Her recent studies focus on professional development (PD) interventions looking at the impact of evidence-based PD in Australia, the UK and Norway, leadership in early education in LMICs (World Bank), a British Academy Grant to study the development of refugee pre-schoolers in Malaysia (2019-2021) and an EEF maths intervention in 106 primary schools to improve maths for 4-6 year olds in the UK. She was Technical Advisor to the OECD IELS international pilot study advising on child measures. She has three widely-used quality rating scales in the cognitive (ECERS-E 4th Ed. 2010), social-emotional (SSTEW, 2015) and physical (MOVERS, 2017) domains.

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