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Latest EPPSE findings assert lasting effects of pre-school

Children who attend pre-school are more likely to take AS-level exams than those who don’t, new research has suggested.

The study, a follow-up of the longitudinal Effective Provision of Pre-school Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE) research, aimed to establish whether the effects of pre-school and the early home learning environment (HLE) continue to predict academic outcomes in A-level subjects taken during Key Stage 5.

While for most students the pre-school effect had disappeared by the time they took A-levels (generally at age 18), the quality of the HLE was shown to have a continuing effect at ages 17 and 18.

EPPSE students who experienced a good early HLE were more likely to enter AS-levels, A-levels, and have higher attainment in terms of Key Stage 5 point scores, the study shows.

The original EPPSE study found that pre-school and the early HLE shaped students’ GCSE attainment.

The new research concludes: “Given these earlier findings, it appears that the early years effects of pre-school largely operate through boosting students’ GCSE results (and through this the chances of entering the academic route and taking AS and A-levels) rather than continuing to affect overall attainment in advanced level examinations up to age 18.”