Latest news


The Daily Telegraph and other newspapers are currently covering a critique of the OECD International Early Learning Study (IELS, preschool PISA). The OECD have confirmed that the pilot will go ahead but the main study is not likely to happen before 2020. That gives us a good window of opportunity to build UK and international opposition.

Let Our Kids Be Kids have updated their anti-SATs petition and are aiming for 100,000 signatures (currently 17,000+). If you wish, you can sign the petition here.

Zero Tolerance is a Scottish charity working to end men’s violence against women – it is a national lead organisation working on primary prevention and recognition that gender inequality is embedded from the earliest years of life. It is attempting to bring about change with the aim that gender equality is promoted from birth.


Your new Executive list and their roles can be found here.


Bronwen Cohen challenges us all to think about early years in the context of the EU. Getting its Act Together: Why we need stronger EU leadership in developing a common EU framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) she sets out an argument which, we’re sure, will generate much discussion! (Well .. we hope so, anyway!)

CONFERENCE/AGM 2016: a great success again!

As usual, our conference was well attended and ensured a great day for everyone involved.  You can see the write-up of our Conference here as well as Minutes from the AGM.  We will soon be posting keynote presentations.  Conference papers can be read here.

NEWSLETTER 38 can be found here.


TACTYC Exec has now responded to the DfE consultation: Literacy and numeracy qualification requirements for level 3 Early Years Educator staff.     

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 early this year and disseminated widely via Occasional Paper 9, conferences and the media.”


We are offering students at any level the opportunity to submit a ‘Reflecting on Early Years Issues’ paper to TACTYC to appear on its website. The paper should be between 1500 and 2000 words long (no more), which will then be judged by a panel of early years experts. It should be submitted no later than the 15th July, 2017. The chosen student will receive a year’s free membership of TACTYC and a fee of £200. The best two runners-up papers will also be published on the website. More information here.


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 Research Methods for Pedagogy by Melanie Nind, Alicia Curtin and Kathy Hall, London, Bloomsbury, 2016.

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.


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.


Study of Early Education and Development: Good Practice in Early Education (DfE/SEED, January). This study is reported as exploring how good quality early years settings articulate, establish and sustain good practice that has the potential to improve child outcomes. Focusing on provision for two- to four-year-olds, it examines good practice in relation to curriculum planning, assessment and monitoring, staffing, managing transitions and communication with parents and home learning. Sixteen case studies were carried out across England with a range of early years settings assessed as having ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ quality provision by 4Children.