Latest news


Evidencing the effects of maintained nursery schools’ roles in Early Years sector improvements.

Budget £12,000 inclusive of VAT. Deadline for applications 19 September 2018

Please read the specification document for details of how to apply which can be found here.



AGM 2018

 ……   WE HAVE STARTED BOOKING NOW!  Download the form HERE and HERE – it’s in two parts as there’s so much we have to tell you.

Dates – Friday, 2nd and Saturday 3rd November 2018:  Venue – University of Derby.  Draft timetable is also available.
If you would like to present a Research briefing, Discussion forum or Poster, please download the appropriate forms by clicking on the title. (If you present, you may, of course, get funding from your institution!)


Please read this recently published article ‘The views of teachers, parents and children on the Phonics Screening Check: the continuing domination of politics over evidence’ by Margaret M Clark OBE

Also see Education Journal (10 July 2018)  ‘Evidence based policy?’

BERA has just released its Report on Baseline Assessment, which is very well formulated – read it here.

Early Education has made a strong comment on the revised EYFS and ELGs – read it here.



TACTYC has responded to the Labour Party’s consultant on education – here it is.

TACTYC has also recently made a submission to the Education Committee Life Chances inquiry – find it here.


The latest two Reflections papers are related and recount how one school trust has successfully established a child-led, play-based curriculm in Reception classes, continuing these principles into Year 1 to ensure a seamless transition for children. Read more about these initiatives here.

TACTYC book series

TACTYC recently launched its own series of books with the aim of translating research into practice in an easily accessible style. The first of these, Exploring the Contexts for Early Learning: Challenging the School Readiness Agenda is reviewed here.

Look out for others in the series Building Knowledge in Early Childhood Education: Young Children are Researchers by Jane Murray; Early Childhood Education and Care for Sustainability by Valerie Huggins and David Evans and Places for Two-year-olds in the Early Years: Supporting Learning and Development, by Jan Georgeson and Verity Campbell-Barr.


This year we are repeating our popular Student Reflections Award – download a flyer here.


Now that we are more and more moving to web-based communications, it has been decided to send you the Latest News by Member e-mail (rather than Newsletter) – the first of the 2018 News emails can be read here by members.  Also, do please ensure that we have an up-to-date email for you – contact us here.

Our bank account system has changed so … please, please check that you are paying membership fees into the correct account (the old account will soon be closed). If you’re unsure, please contact Janet MoylesAnd do email/contact us if you have a change in your details (address, email, phone, etc.) so we can be sure to keep you updated regularly.


TACTYC Exec and members are outraged at the recent OfSTED Report ‘Bold Beginnings’. We feel that it will cause long-term, detrimental effects on young children’s confidence, motivation and disposition to learn, as well as on their parents’ attitudes and early years teachers’ professional integrity.  Read our response here. And do let us have your views on the issues raised in the Report.  Already our evidence has been used – see here (around 11.23 mins).

Early Education has joined the debate and published a short article –  What’s wrong with Bold Beginnings? A summary for school leaders – offering advice for ways forward for practitioners and heads.

Nancy Stewart (our Vice Chair) and others met with OfSTED inspectors, the agreed outcome document being found here.

Di Chilvers from Watch Me Grow has written a challenging piece responding to ‘Bold Beginnings’ which she has allowed us to use in our Reflections pages.

Professor Colin Richards (a previous President of TACTYC and ex-HMI) has also followed up his previous open letter with this one, well worth a read.

TACTYC BOOK SERIES: Research informed professional development for the early years

You can now access all information about our exciting series here. We now have four books published, the latest being Places for Two-Year-Olds in the Early Years edited by Jan Georgeson and Verity Campbell-Barr. Two more will follow this year.  These are exciting research into practice books which are invaluable to busy trainers.  Further


Read here all about Viki Veale – a very enthusiastic member of TACTYC, who responded to our appeal at the Conference for more Member Profiles.  Do remember to send yours to Janet.

OCCASIONAL PAPER 10 now online

Julian Grenier has written an excellent new paper which you’ll find here entitled: ‘Collaborative quality improvement’ – a way forward for England’s maintained nursery schools? in which explores one possible future for nursery schools: as the leaders of quality improvement for the whole of the early years sector in England.


We have a new call for papersEarly Childhood Policies in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (Special Issue).  Global attention to the early years has reached unprecedented heights.  As countries scale up early childhood services, what are evidence-based policy strategies to meet the needs of the workforce? To what extent do early childhood policies address or reinforce inequities within and between countries? How are debates around measurement influencing policy efforts to make and monitor progress toward national and international goals? We are interested in papers that go beyond descriptions to include critical analyses of the challenges of formulating and/or implementing policies for young children and their families in low-resource contexts of the global south.


Education Committee: Impact on children of early years education examined.  On 12 June 2018, the Commons Education Committee questioned practitioners, researchers and voluntary organisations on the impact on children of early years education and social policy. The sessions raised questions on early years education provision, support for parents and families and the role of children’s centres in promoting social justice.  The sessions are available watch on Parliament TV.

Outdoor Classroom Day campaign.  This is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor learning and play. The next Outdoor Classroom Days are on Thursday 1 November 2018 and Thursday 23 May 2019. On the day, thousands of schools around the world take lessons outdoors and prioritise playtime. Find further information and sign up on the website.

Public spending on children in England: 2000 to 2020: research report. This Children’s Commissioner’s report provides new estimates of total spending by the government on children in England, including benefits, education spending, services for vulnerable children and healthcare. In the most recent year of data (2017–18), total spending was over £120 billion or over £10,000 per child under 18.  Among the key findings are: increases in the entitlement to free early education and childcare mean that spending per child in their early years will rise from about £1,400 in 2000–01 to about £2,400 by 2019–20 (all 2017– 18 prices); a significant reorientation of spending towards spending on Safeguarding and Looked After Children. Spending on early and preventative interventions, such as Sure Start, has been cut by around 60% in real terms between 2009–10 and 2016–17.  Early years spending per pupil is expected to bounce back to about £2,400 by 2019– 20, reflecting the extra funding for the 30 hours entitlement. However, significant concerns have been raised as to whether this extra funding will be sufficient to deliver high-quality early years education.

Minds matter: the impact of working in the early years sector on practitioners’ mental health and wellbeing: report
This report from the Pre-school Learning Alliance details findings from a survey of the early years sector. Key findings include: 57% of early years practitioners say they have suffered from anxiety as a result of their work; 26% have experienced depression; 45% say that work-related stress or mental health difficulties have impacted on their performance at work; 23% have taken time off as a result of work-related stress or mental health issues. The main sources of stress reported by respondents included high workloads, particularly paperwork and administration, financial pressure and low pay.


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