Latest news

BOOK SERIES – first one published!

The first book in our book series is now published: written by Rory McDowall Clark, it explores in depth ‘readiness’ issues – Exploring the Contexts for Early Learning: Challenging the school readiness agenda (Routledge). It’s a great start to the series and a must for all of those concerned with children starting school.  Four more books are now under contract for our new book series with Routledge and a sixth is in the pipeline.


Prof. Jayne Osgood and her team at Middlesex are presenting the findings of their research at our Conference. Meantime, she has updated us all as follows:

“We are well underway with the analysis and report writing and preparing for the TACTYC conference next month. We have undertaken an extensive review of literature which charts the broad trends, patterns and issues relating to the key developments within early years training and qualifications in the recent past. The review includes evidence from research studies, grey literature, policy texts and media coverage and provides the contextual basis for the study. This contextual backdrop is further informed by the views of a small number of key stakeholders representing national Early Years organisations who were interviewed as part of the study.

Through the collation and analysis of on-line marketing materials for courses and an on-line Survey of Training Providers we have identified the range, nature and uptake of different courses and the key issues that exist for training providers in the current policy climate. In order to explore the issues ‘on the ground’ as experienced by the early years workforce we undertook three case studies at (PVI) nurseries across the country which involve interviews with practitioners, educators and teachers at various stages of professional development. Rich data were collected via focus group discussion and on-site one-to-one interviews with members of the early years workforce.

In June, Middlesex University hosted a very successful one-day Seminar which was kicked off with a stimulus paper delivered by Prof. Peter Moss which informed the focus of discussions in break-out groups made up of training providers, practitioners, advocacy groups, unions and others. The discussions from the groups were collated and the emphasis on considering the future of early years training and qualifications provides an important component of the report and recommendations from the study.

The findings from the study will be submitted to TACTYC in a final report at the end of the year and disseminated widely via Occasional Paper 9, conferences and the media.”

CONFERENCE/AGM 2016: all the information you need!

Our Conference is now almost upon us – 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 Prof. Jayne Osgood.

There are still a few places so do send in your application quickly in order to ensure a place and catch up with all those lovely people who come to our conferences!

Papers are coming in and will be published on the website soon. So WATCH THIS SPACE!


We are currently putting a proposal together to offer a ‘Best Student Reflections Paper of the Year’ Award from 2017.  Students at any level can submit their papers which will then be judged by a panel of experts and the person chosen will receive a year’s free membership of TACTYC and a small fee. Runners-up will also be published on the website.  So …. early years students everywhere … what are YOU going to write about????


Congratulations to our website editor and previous Chair of TACTYC, Prof. Emerita Janet Moyles, who has been given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the recent Nursery World Awards.


Students from Worcester have appealed to the new Education Secretary to be granted QTS in the name of equality: Early Years Teachers launch campaign to demand teacher status. They say: ‘We feel that as we have had to meet the same entry requirements as those with QTS and meet a rigorous set of standards, we should be given QTS as part of the Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS). We have completed a course that is as demanding as any that awards QTS. However, EYTs do not have the status they deserve.’ It will be interesting to see the government’s response.


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. The latest is Loris Malaguzzi and the Schools of Reggio Emilia (edited by Cagliari, et al.)


The Standard was published in July and you can access it here.  TACTYC responded to the consultation in developing the Standard and the Expert Group is now calling for it to be widely shared,and for offers to develop exemplification.


In an alarming international development, the OECD is planning to introduce a cross-national assessment of learning outcomes for 5-year-olds. It is currently in the process of developing and piloting the assessment (a contract will be awarded very soon for an ‘International Contractor’ for development and piloting work). In a recent article, academics from nine countries provide information about OECD’s plans and raise a number of concerns about these plans for a ‘preschool PISA’.  Prof Peter Moss has published a blog summarising the issues, which can be found here

TACTYC/BERA presentation

Jan Georgeson, Jane Payler and Elizabeth Wood presented the BERA/TACTYC Academic Review of Early Childhood Education, which brings together specialists in BERA and TACTYC. The aim is to review UK- based research since the 2003 BERA Review, with reflections on international trends. This is a significant task, which will be of interest within and beyond the UK for a range of audiences. More information can be found here.

NEW CALL FOR PAPERS for the Journal

Lessons and Legacies of Early Childhood History (Special Issue) The current attention to ECEC programs and policies worldwide makes it imperative to understand developments in the past. This special issue aims to add to the burgeoning literature on ECEC history in recent years to present new work by scholars working in diverse international contexts.  It is planned to include these papers in the March 2018 issue of the journal. Please email your abstract (up to 500 words) to the Special Issue editors by March 15, 2017. The submission date for full papers will be August 31, 2017. All papers will be peer-reviewed.


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.

NEWSLETTER 37 is here.


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


And the good news is ……. the English government has ‘frozen’ assessment procedures for the next two years, including abandoning the proposed Year 7 resits. The KS 1 spelling, punctuation and grammar tests will remain non-statutory in 2016-17 and the early years foundation stage profile will remain in place for 2017-18.


There’s a new review here. Keep your eyes open  for new books that might interest you.


There are two new items on our Reports page, well worth a look – the DCMS Annual child Report and Early years and life chances: parliamentary enquiry.