Latest news


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.

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.


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.


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.


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