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Governing and commercialising early childhood education: Profiting from The International Early Learning and Well-being Study (IELS)

Roberts-Holmes, GP; (2019) Governing and commercialising early childhood education: Profiting from The International Early Learning and Well-being Study (IELS). Policy Futures in Education 10.1177/1478210318821761. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

This article examines why the government in England has signed the country up to taking part in the OECD’s new international assessment known as The International Early Learning and Well-being Study (IELS). The article highlights the role of IELS as a technology of neoliberal governance. Looking forward it considers how IELS may open up new business opportunities and spaces for profit for businesses in England and elsewhere. At present, IELS is a fledgling product, but it may in time further add to the explanatory and governing power of the OECD to steer national policy makers towards a homogenised educational future defined by the organisation. IELS is run and managed by the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER), a national not-for-profit research organisation. The article explores how this same not-for-profit organisation also won the remarkably similar early childhood English Baseline Assessment 2 worth £9.8 million. Finally, the article examines the possibility that, in the future, if IELS were to develop, the edu-business Pearson might be interested in IELS to add to its existing interests in global data governance for profit.

Type: Article
Title: Governing and commercialising early childhood education: Profiting from The International Early Learning and Well-being Study (IELS)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1478210318821761
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1478210318821761
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Early childhood, Pearson, IELS, governing, commercial
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10065624
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