Primary school teachers across England are not seeing an improvement in the numeracy and literacy skills of new-starters, despite the government's recent investment in pre-school education.
That is the conclusion reached in a new report from the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University, where a team of researchers looked into the extent to which schemes such as Sure Start have helped children under the age of five develop.
Notably, the team found that, despite the millions of pounds that have been invested in getting children's education off to the best possible start, teachers are unlikely to have seen any real improvements over the past eight years.
Furthermore, the study also found that, where improvements were seen, these were often noted among children of middle-class backgrounds, with lead researcher Dr Christine Merrell arguing that this shows that "the poorest families in our society are not accessing the full range of educational opportunities and resources designed to help them".
According to the Daily Mail, the Labour government spent around £10 billion on its Sure Start scheme, which the new coalition has pledged to continue with.
Posted by Tim Colman