Our aim is to improve children’s outcomes through evidence-based professional development for Early Years practitioners. Our approach is based on using research tools as a framework for quality improvement.

We aim to support practitioners to…

    • develop quality in Early Years Foundation Stage with lasting effect on child outcomes in later key stages;
    • gain a deeper understanding of how children learn, and how to support that learning through a strong evidence-based adult-role;
    • establish and embed effective observation and assessment of children’s development;
    • develop an effective and sustainable self-evaluation and improvement cycle;
    • develop expertise for sustained improvement;
    • articulate and evidence best practice and progress to others, including Ofsted.

Delivering the ‘URLEY’ programme

(Using Research to improve Language in the Early Years)

The use of research tools to guide quality improvement is currently being evaluated as part of a large-scale randomised controlled trial, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation, which will test impact on children’s outcomes. EEF funding is highly competitive and only approaches showing real evidence of promise are selected. A+ Education Ltd is collaborating with the University of Oxford and University College London to develop and deliver the ‘URLEY’ programme (Using Research to improve Language in the Early Years). Although the findings will not be published until Spring 2019, the development and evaluation work is already informing the professional development programmes offered by A+ Education.

What people have to say about our training and support…

  • “(The 5 day course) has really helped to transform (our staff’s) understanding and approach and I think it will have a lasting impact on the work we do with children…
    I feel it has had the most impact on changing understanding of pedagogy than any other course our staff have been on.”

    Birmingham Head Teacher (July 2016)
  • “…this (course) has totally revamped my knowledge, inspired me and made me look at my practice differently. I’m constantly trying to improve my practice and I feel this course has given me the tools to do this, confidently and enthusiastically and … encouraged me to inspire others ….”

    Birmingham Nurseries course delegate (July 2016)

Our tools and resources

We use a wide range of research tools to help practitioners tune into their practice and children. They provide a framework to support practitioners in understanding how to translate research into practice within their classes/rooms, and what this might look like for their children.

News and updates


The awaited third edition of the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale,  FCCERS-3 was published in June 2019.

For more details, please visit The Environment Rating Scales Institute

For information on how we use the ERS, please go to OUR TOOLS

UK ECERS Network meeting 2018

Thank you to Herts for Learning for hosting a successful UK ECERS Network meeting on 18th October and all those who attended for their continued support.

We were delighted to welcome over 40 delegates including representatives from 18 local authorities around the country.

In particular, our thanks go to Prof. Kathy Sylva, Brenda Taggart, Sandra Mathers, Andy Samways and Clare Williams for their contributions. Copies of their presentations will be available from the UK ECERS Network website shortly.

If you have any feedback about the day, suggestions for future meetings or would like to host the next event, please contact sylvia.brown@aplus-education.co.uk

A+ delivering URLEY as part of 2 successful SSIF bids

Congratulations to Ryders Hayes School and Everton Nursery School and Family Centre on their successful SSIF (Strategic School Improvement Fund) bids! We are very proud and excited to be part of their Black Country Language First and Everton and Sefton Language Leaders Projects running from Autumn 2018 until Spring 2020.

UK ECERS Network meeting 2018 announced

The next UK ECERS Network meeting, hosted by Herts for Learning will take place on Thursday 18th October 2018 at the Hertfordshire Development Centre in Stevenage.

The UK ECERS Network is a peer support group for local authorities, teaching schools and other organisations using the Environment Rating Scales to support quality improvement. Find out more here.

We will be providing a varied and inspiring programme with plenty of time for discussion including:
• Using Research Tools to Improve Language in the Early Years (URLEY): an update on the Education Endowment Foundation-funded research trial – Sandra Mathers (University of Oxford)
• Introduction to the ITERS-3 – Clare Williams (A+ Education)
• Stop Start: findings from the recent Sutton Trust study charting the decline of Children’s Centres in England – Kathy Sylva (University of Oxford)
• Update on Environment Rating Scales (MOVERS, ICP)

  • NEW: We area delighted to welcome representatives from Unity Schools Partnership who will speak about the research schools and their remit

• Finally, we will have an update from the ECERS International Meeting held in Denmark in May

Please find a registration form with details of the venue here.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.


Published in June 2017, the Third Edition of the ITERS is a major revision that introduces innovations in both the content and the administration of the scale, while still retaining the primary characteristics of the ITERS.

For more details, please visit The Environment Rating Scales Institute

For information on how we use the ERS, please go to OUR TOOLS

Please contact us for information about available training.


A+ Education Ltd, in collaboration with the University of Oxford and University College London has secured funding from the Education Endowment Foundation to develop and deliver URLEY, a programme which aims to improve children’s language, social and emotional outcomes in the early years, in order to achieve a lasting effect on child outcomes in later key stages and beyond.

Findings will be published on the Education Endowment Foundation website in early 2019.

Find out more.


Movement Environment Rating Scale (MOVERS) now available from our online shop.

MOVERS is designed for 2–6-year-olds provision and focuses on improving physical development through movement and physical activity

‘MOVERS is a great leap forward in consolidating and organizing some of the cutting edge techniques and insights that are increasingly seen as important in helping children grow to their potential. This product of the work of Carol Archer and Iram Siraj over many years of solid research, study and observation will be deeply useful and critical for teachers, care-givers, and all who care for children. We can only hope that the book gains popularity not only in the UK, but around the world. It is so needed.’ – Bette Lamont, Developmental Movement Consultant, Seattle

Author Information:
Carol Archer is an Advisory Teacher in the London Borough of Camden and a Movement-Play Practitioner/Consultant. Iram Siraj is a Professor at the UCL Institute of Education and a Research Professor at the University of Wollongong, Australia.

Phone: +44 (0) 161 434 8950
Fax: +44 (0) 161 434 8950
Suite 3, Elm House
739 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Manchester M20 6RN