Latest news


Reception Baseline Assessment:  Dr. Guy Roberts-Holmes and Dr. Alice Bradbury .  This very topical new Occasional Paper critically analyses the policy context and implementation of Reception Baseline Assessment. The paper reports on a national research sample of Reception staff and parents who stated that Baseline Assessment is a flawed, inappropriate and unethical means of assessing young children. The paper concludes by suggesting that BA can be understood not only as an accountability and governance measure but also as producing new forms of commercialized digital knowledges about young children and their families.


Bath Spa University is offering an early years Ph.D. studentship which is a wonderful opportunity.  See here for further information.

NEWSLETTER 37 – Summer Term – is here.

CONFERENCE/AGM 2016: all the information you need!

Our Conference is now fully planned and ready for your applications – flyer here.

Title:  Principled Early Years Practice: Valuing our past, debating our present, inspiring our futureDate: Saturday 19th November 2016  

Venue:  Park Crescent Conference Centre, International Students House, 229 Great Portland Street, London. W1W 5PN.  Speakers: Dr. Jools Page, Dr. Julian Grenier and Professor Jayne Osgood.

We are again offering you different opportunities to be involved – here’s our Call or Papers. You can choose to be involved in presenting:  a research briefing, a discussion forum or a poster.  Either way, we look forward to receiving your applications soon. Don’t forget the early bird rates for all those who apply soon!


We have now finalised our response to the Labour Party’s consultation on early intervention.  You can find it here.


As you will now know, our new research project – Early Years Qualifications and Training – with Middlesex University under the direction of Professor Jayne Osgood is progressing well.  So far the team has achieved a great deal and they are looking for your help with a very brief survey – click here to complete.  It’s really quick and simple – please help.

Middlesex has also set up a website relating to the research – a webpage for information has been set up at Middlesex University.   An overview of the project can also be found here.


We have yet another new reflections article – our fifth of the year so far.  Thank you to all our contributors.  In the new article, Gareth Betts-Davies, a new co-opted member of the TACTYC Executive, reflects specifically on ‘Who owns the ‘rights’ to early development?’ – if you’re wondering what that’s all about, read it here.


Gareth Betts-Davies and Dr. Sharon Curtis are two of our new co-optees on the Executive as you will have read in Newsletter 37. They have written about themselves  on the Member Profiles page.  Both of them bring a wealth of background and experience to their roles, as  you will be able to read, and we are lucky to have them on the Exec working on members’ behalf.


The Better Without Baseline coalition (which includes TACTYC) welcomes the decision from government not to use Baseline Assessment as an accountability measure but continues to be concerned that the emphasis has been on the lack of data comparability, rather than the impact on child wellbeing. The EYFS was carefully developed over time to 1) support children’s learning through observation; 2) nurture their unique talents and interests; 3) best meet their needs.

We note that the DfE intends to begin a process of engagement with ‘stakeholders’ around issues of early years assessment. We look forward to participating in these discussions but will continue to treat with caution any statements that lack an appropriate recognition of the importance of developmentally informed practice and the holistic nature of early childhood development. See the BWB joint press release and the BWB open letter.


We are delighted that a TACTYC/BERA collaboration paper has been selected as one of just five keynote symposia at BERA later this year and has also been submitted to EECERA as part of a symposium. Congratulations to all involved.


Now that book reviews no longer appear in the Journal (yes, you’ll have noticed!) we shall be updating our Book Reviews section of the website regularly.  Keep your eyes open here for new books that might interest you. There’s currently a review of Julie Fisher’s new book.


In 2012 TACTYC commissioned a report from Dr. David Whitebread and Dr. Sue Bingham on children’s readiness for school.  We are pleased to say that this is now published online here under our Projects page..


We are pleased to tell you that four books are now under contract for our new book series with Routledge and a fifth and sixth are in the pipeline. More information will be available shortly: we expect the first book (Rory McDowall-Clark on ‘Readiness’) to be published in early October of this year.  Watch this space for further news.


There are four new reports posted on our Reports page, well worth a look!