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Children given good education in the reception room ‘Possibility to earn more than peers in future’




Children who are taught well during their first year of primary school are more likely to earn more than their peers in later life, a study has shown.

Research by Durham University and the Department for Education shows that students in the most effective reception classes can expect to earn on average between £2,000 and £7,500 more than their peers.

The study estimates that the top 2.5% of reception classes of 27 pupils could add between £50,000 and £200,000 to the UK economy – the equivalent of around £4,400 per student.

Research from Durham University has previously shown that children who are taught well in their first year of primary school achieve better GCSE results in English and maths.


The latest report – titled The Economic Benefits of Effective Welcome Classes in England – suggests that future earnings are affected by teachers from the time children are four years old.

This will come as a surprise to many but it shows the importance of great teachers working with young children

The paper says the social and economic returns from investing in high-quality reception classes could be “much larger” than the study estimates, particularly for disadvantaged pupils.


Professor Peter Times, from Durham University’s School of Education, said: “We have previously shown that exceptional teaching in reception can have a long-term impact – up to GCSE level – but now, working with the Department for Education, we have been able to To show that it also has an effect on subsequent earnings.

“Many people will find this surprising but it shows the importance of great teachers working with young children.”

The researchers used two previous studies – one on the effect of reception classes on GCSE attainment and the other on income returns linked to GCSEs – to estimate changes in earnings.


A range of social and economic factors that could have skewed the results were taken into account – including children’s age, gender, ethnicity, special needs, English as an additional language and deprivation.

James Bowen, director of policy at school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “As this report shows, the formative years of a child’s education are vital to preparing children for the best success both in terms of their future academic achievement and their lives are.

“While we shouldn’t try to ‘hothouse’ young children, it is clear that great teachers in welcome classrooms make a real difference.

“However, we also need to recognize that the years before a child enters reception are just as important, and the challenges some children face begin before they even enter school.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “Early literacy and numeracy can improve life chances, and the findings of this analysis report show the importance of investing in maths and English in primary schools.

“Over the past decade our focus as a government has been on raising standards, particularly in primary schools, which is why we have introduced phonics screening and testing multiplication tables to improve children’s fluency in literacy and maths has started.”

(tagsto be translated) children


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