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The UK's school system would rank higher in international league tables if the universal entitlement to free nursery places had been set up in the 1990s, new research suggests.

A recent report in the education press claimed 'yet another year of improvement across the board' following the Government's release of the EYFS results for last year. What was not mentioned was the fundamental change to the 'expected standard' for five year olds in mathematics with the new EYFS which became statutory in September.

This is my last column for Nursery World and I have enjoyed writing it. The commentator's vantage point has allowed me to observe some important trends in public policy debate on matters that concern Nursery World readers.

As 4Children's tenure as the lead in the early years strategic partnership enters its final phase, its chief executive talks to Catherine Gaunt about the role and sector concerns.

Is it within the remit of a regulatory body to get political?

Policymakers may need reminding that actions speak louder than words. The focus of the foundation years is on child development, proclaimed the Government in its document, 'Supporting Families in the Foundation Years'.

A row has broken out between Ofsted and the National Childminding Association, after Ofsted used its first annual early years lecture to suggest that childminders were 'not up to the job' of delivering all aspects of the EYFS.

Teachers in England and Wales will get pay rises based on performance rather than the length of service, after the Government accepted today all of the proposals in a report by the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB).

In her first keynote speech to the sector, Education and Childcare Minister Elizabeth Truss re-iterated a commitment to universal services and giving the sector more autonomy.

Early years organisations have expressed concern about 'real terms cuts' to Child Tax Credit and child benefit, following Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement in the House of Commons today.