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Professor Kathy Sylva
University of Oxford Department of Education
Kathy Sylva is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Oxford, Department of Education. She has carried out many large scale studies on the effects of early childhood education and care on children’s development. She also studies ways to support early literacy through school- and home-based programmes. She has been a lead researcher on the Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education study (EPPE/EPPSE), and on the evaluations of the Graduate Leader Fund and the Early Learning Partnership Project.
She is co-leader of a randomised controlled trial to evaluate a parenting programme aimed at supporting their children’s reading at home. A dominant theme throughout her work has been the impact of education and care not only on ‘academic knowledge’ but on children’s behaviour, self-regulation, and concentration. A related theme in her research is the impact of early intervention on combating social disadvantage in both developed and developing countries.
She has been specialist adviser to the UK Parliament’s Select Committee on Education 2000-2009 and the DCSF enquiry into phonics teaching. In 2010/11 she was a member of the expert panel for the Tickell Review of the Early Years Foundation Stage. She was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to children and families.
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