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Early Years Attainment Gap

Toddlers playing with sand
Published: April 2017

Aim

This study is investigating regional differences in attainment in the early years of life.

The study is part of a larger research programme investigating the educational successes of London’s schools, often referred to as the “The London Effect”.  

Findings from this report will cast light onto the causes of inequalities in educational attainment and provide policymakers with the information needed to implement effective interventions to promote an equitable education system.

This study will answer two key research questions:

  • Are there regional differences in cognitive, social and emotional development and in educational attainment by the ages of 3, 5 or 7 years of age?
  • What are the underlying reasons for regional gaps in attainment?

The study was commissioned by the Department for Education.

Methods

The project will use the Millennium Cohort Study which is following the lives of 19,000 children born in 2000 and 2001. We will link the data to the National Pupil Database and various administrative data sources, such as Ofsted registers, the ONS regional cluster classification as well as local employment statistics.

This data will be used to investigate the influence of the home learning environment, experiences of pre-school, and the wider neighbourhood characteristics on the formation of geographic differences in attainment.