By Euro Weekly News Media • 12 June 2015 • 6:00
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A NEW report has found that young children sent to nursery school achieve better marks at primary school.Analysing the influence early schooling has on children in Spain, the ‘Impact of infant education on primary school results’ report revealed that pupils’ maths results can improve by up to six per cent and Spanish language results by up to 4.4 per cent for each extra year of schooling.The study was based on results obtained by a selection of fourth year primary pupils aged nine and 10 on tests carried out by the Ministry of Education in 2009, after which headmasters were asked for records of the number of years’ schooling the pupils had received beforehand.Investigators found that in groups of children from the same classes and schools, those who had been to nursery school obtained significantly better marks than those who started aged three and over.Although Spain has a very high rate of children aged three or more in school (more than 95 per cent), the levels drop drastically for two-year-olds with an average of approximately 51 per cent at nursery.Yet figures vary from one region to another, with 91.3 per cent of two-year-olds at nursery in Pais Vasco compared to 67.3 per cent in Madrid, 49.8 per cent in Andalucia or 24.4 per cent in Asturias, according to 2014 data from the Ministry of Education.Co-author of the report Daniel Santin is requesting free generalised schooling for two-year-olds.Although a project, Educa3, was launched in 2008 by the socialist government with a €100 million annual budget, it was cancelled in 2012 as the ministry claimed it was a childminding programme rather than an educational one.
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