Examples of Academic Evidence Base

Theoretical Foundations

“We learn in our interactions with others and within the context of our environment and culture”

Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes (1978)

Urie Bronfenbrenner

“Child development does not take place universally, but rather occurs as a complex interaction with the influences of family, neighbourhood, school, community, culture and society”

Making Human Beings Human (2005)

Fox, Levitt, & Nelson

“Beginning immediately after birth, children’s interactions with supportive and responsive adults (also called serve-and return interactions) help to build a strong neural foundation in brain regions responsible for the development of basic functional systems such as vision and language”

How the Timing & Quality of Early Experiences Influence the Development of Brain Architecture (2010)


“The quality of the home learning environment is more important for intellectual and social development than parental occupation, education or income”

Institute of Education (2003)

DfE, Education Endowment Foundation, Public Health England

“Parents who confidently support the development of language, literacy and communication skills with their under-fives has a profound impact on achievement in primary and secondary age phases.”

Department for Education

The Social Mobility Commission

“Research in national contexts has found strong evidence of a link between extra-curricular activities and educational outcomes as well as other positive outcomes, such as soft (especially social) skills)”

An Unequal Playing Field (2019)

Cebulla & Tomaszewki

“Young people who engaged in self-development activities, including sport activities, but not attending youth clubs, achieved, on average, 10 to 20 percent higher GCSE point scores than young people who did not participate in these activities.”

Risky Behaviour & Social Activities: DCSF (2009)

Garry Landreth

“Play relieves feelings of stress and boredom, connects us to people in a positive way, stimulates creative thinking and exploration, regulates our emotions, and boosts our ego”

Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship (2002)

The LEGO Foundation

“The inherent joy and affective nature of play, as well as the stimulation of multiple brain networks during play, make it a particularly effective in maintaining and developing the emotional skills needed to deal with challenging circumstance, as well as the resilience and creativity to adapt.”

Play to Cope with Change (2020)

The Sutton Trust

“In order to improve social mobility prospects for future generations the evidence suggests we need a more systematic, longer-term perspective. We should seek not only better targeted education policies but also consider how we might improve the home learning environment and the transition between education and work”

Social Mobility: Past, Present and Future (2022)

Madison E. Kerr & Jon Franklin

“Doing simple activities at home such as singing, painting or enjoying a bedtime story with pre-school children at risk of language difficulties could help to boost the economy by up to £1.2billion over the course of their lifetimes.”

The economic cost of early vulnerable language skills (2021)

Michael Marmot

“Evidence on the most important factors influencing educational attainment suggests that it is families, rather than schools, that have the most influence. Closer links between schools, the family, and the local community are needed.”

Fair Society, Healthy Lives (2010)