Researchers drew on the findings for an analysis published in thejournal Science, which looked for the factors that had the most impacton children's success in maths tests at the age of ten.
A good home learning environment, good pre-school and good primaryschool were found to have separate significant effects on mathematicalachievement at the age of ten. Boys did better than girls in mathstests.
The impact of mother's educational level was found to be highlysignificant, more important than that of the father and more importantthan the family's income.
Co-author Professor Edward Melhuish, at Birkbeck, University of London,said, 'This was looking at the relevant magnitude of effects fromvarious demographic factors for primary school of all who went to apre-school. It mimics the situation if we had universal pre-schooleducation. Many countries are looking at what relevant evidence there is(for pre-school education).'
The report ended, 'The home learning environment before school exerted apowerful effect.'
The analysis was published in the 29 August issue of Science.