Welsh Government, Social research (42/2013)

The Foundation Phase is a Welsh Government flagship policy of early years education (for 3 to 7-year old children) in Wales. Marking a radical departure from the more formal, competency-based approach associated with the previous Key Stage 1 National Curriculum, it advocates a developmental, experiential, play-based approach to teaching and learning. The policy has been progressively ‘rolled out’ over the last seven years so that by 2011/12 it included all 3 to 7-year-olds in Wales.

In April 2011 the Welsh Government, on behalf of Welsh Ministers, invited tenders for a three-year independent evaluation of the Foundation Phase. Following a competitive tender process, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, led by Professor Chris Taylor from Cardiff University and the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD), were appointed to undertake the evaluation in July 2011.