Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sure Start?

I have been a huge fan of the Sure Start initiative from the very beginning. I have visited several and have always been hugely impressed by what I have seen. This is why I am really concerned by the University of Durham's report on the impact of Sure Start and other early years projects. The report concludes that the series of policies designed to boost the achievements of pre-school children has had no effect on the development levels of those entering primary school.

Is it still too early to measure the impact of such measures? I hope so. We all need to work to ensure that Sure Start works and that we give all kids the start in life they deserve.

1 comment:

Tom Freeman said...

Hi Mike, I agree that this is cause for some provisional concern, but I don’t think there are grounds here for being too worried. The study is limited in scope and precision, looking at children in general rather than focusing on those participating in Sure Start and other schemes.

The report concludes that “it is important not to jump too rapidly to evaluative conclusions. The study had no measures of the involvement of the children in any of the national initiatives. Further, we do not have data on the interactions within families and how that had changed during the period in question.”