The impact of sure start on school performance
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The impact of Sure Start on school performance. Justine Schneider, University of Durham, with Alan Ramsay and Shelagh Lowerson, Education, Durham County Council o n behalf of Durham University Centre for Applied Social Research Sure Start Research Team. Aims of the analysis.

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The impact of Sure Start on school performance

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The impact of sure start on school performance

The impact of Sure Start on school performance

Justine Schneider, University of Durham,

with Alan Ramsay and Shelagh Lowerson, Education, Durham County Council on behalf of

Durham University Centre for Applied Social Research

Sure Start Research Team


Aims of the analysis

Aims of the analysis

  • To investigate whether Sure Start made any difference when a child started school.

  • To do this, we had to allow for differences in:

    • Age

    • Gender

    • Social backgrounds


Methods

Methods

  • We compared Sure Start ‘graduates’ to their classmates who did not use the local programme, but were eligible to do so.

  • We controlled for age, gender and social background (IMD) using multiple linear regression analysis.

  • In this way we explored the impact of Sure Start use on Flying Start summary scores.


Imd scores high more disadvantaged

IMD scores (high = more disadvantaged)

***

***


Flying start scales

Flying Start scales

Significance level of correlation between score and IMD

Speaking and listening

Writing***

Reading***

Language and literacy subject total**

Using and applying**

Number***

Mathematics subject total**

Independence

Relationships

Personal & social development total

Statutory assessment total**

Non-statutory assessment total*


Flying start scores 1

Flying Start scores 1

*


The impact of sure start on school performance

Flying Start scores 2

*

*

**

**

**

**


Four areas compared 1

Four areas compared (1)

*


Four areas compared 2

Four areas compared (2)

*


Implications

Implications

  • We found that we also had to look at the differences associated with coming from certain areas/programmes.


Sure start inputs

Sure Start inputs


Sure start targets

Sure Start targets

  • ised – Improving social and emotional development

  • ih – improving health

  • ial – improving ability to learn

  • sfc – strengthening families and communities


Child s attendance

Child’s attendance


Mother s attendance

Mother’s attendance


Sure start inputs for 125 families

Sure Start inputs for 125 families


Findings 1

Findings 1

  • Age, gender, the index of social disadvantage for the ward in which the child lives and the Sure Start area from which they come all affected the summary scores on Flying Start assessments.


Findings 2

Findings 2

  • Children from some areas did worse at school, which could be due to selection into programmes of children with special needs.

  • Thus, comparisons of average outcomes for intervention versus control groups across the four areas are not valid; progress over time at the level of the individual would be a better measure.


Findings 3

Findings 3

  • Controlling for age, gender, area and IMD, mothers’ participation in education and community activities through Sure Start predicted higher ‘statutory’ scores for their children (language and literature, numeracy and personal and social development).


Findings 4

Findings 4

  • Again controlling for key variables, children’s use of Sure Start’s creative and social facilities was associated with higher ‘non-statutory’ scores (knowledge and understanding of the world, physical and creative development).


Caveats

Caveats

  • Teachers rate Flying Start, which could introduce some bias.

  • Robust measurement of inputs relies on programmes using the database.

  • Missing cases make the results less reliable.


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • These findings lend support to a positive impact from Sure Start.


Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

  • The researchers wish to thank the programme staff who supplied data for these analyses.

  • The analyses would not have been possible without the assistance of DCC Education Performance review section.


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