A+ Education
The Environment Rating Scales are rigorous, practical, research-based tools for evaluating and improving practice, and evidencing improvement.
A+ Education
We provide training and support for quality improvement in the early years.
A+ Education
We work with settings, schools, and local authorities, using the Environment Rating Scales (ECERS, ITERS and others) to support improvement.

  • URLEY: Using Research tools to improve Language in the Early Years

    Primary heads: are you interested in receiving several thousand pounds-worth of free professional development for nursery and reception class teachers in your school?

    • The University of Oxford, UCL Institute of Education and A+ Education Ltd have been awarded funding by the Education Endowment Foundation to run an early years professional development programme designed to improve children’s language and social emotional development.
    • We are looking for 120 primary schools in the West Midlands, Manchester and Liverpool/St Helens areas to take part. Up to three teachers per school will be able to attend a training course and receive individual support from a mentor. They will learn to use research tools like the Environment Rating Scales – known to predict outcomes in KS1, KS2 and beyond – to support self-evaluation and improvement.
    • The aim of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the professional development in improving children’s outcomes. A team from the Behavioural Insights Team and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research has been appointed to conduct the evaluation.
    • If you are interested in applying for a place for your primary school, click here to find out more. The remaining places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

  • At the end of September 2015 we launched our new social enterprise arm, Early Years Research in Action. Its purpose is two-fold:

    • To more fully reflect our vision, values and ways of working. (View Page)
    • To take our research and development work to the next stage. The remit of EY Research in Action will be to carry out innovative development work in order to move forwards understanding of how to achieve change through professional development; and to further develop the ways in which we evaluate the impact of our professional development.

    Work will begin in 2016 and we will keep you up-to-date with developments as they happen.

  • ecers 3

    The revised version of the ECERS-R was published in December 2014.

    The aim of the revision is to improve the useability of the ECERS-R and its prediction of child outcomes. The basic structure and many of the items of the ECERS remain the same, but there are some key changes.

    Download a presentation from the authors here for more detail.   Download a PDF of the presentation  here.

    For individuals already using the ECERS-R, we do not think the shift to ECERS-3 will be onerous but some additional training will be needed.

    We will be completing our own training on the ECERS-3 in early 2015 and begin offering ‘transfer’ training in the summer term of 2015. For details click here.

    Purchase a copy of the ECERS-3 here.


  • The Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Well-being (SSTEW) Scale is the latest tool in the Environment Rating Scales toolkit, written by Iram Siraj, Denise Kingston and Edward Melhuish.
    SSTEW designed to consider some of the intentional and relational pedagogical strategies strongly associated with child outcomes. It considers practice that supports children aged between 2 and 5 in developing skills in sustained shared thinking and emotional well-being, as well as developing strong relationships, effective communication and aspects of self-regulation. It is designed to be used for research, self-evaluation and improvement, audit and regulation.

    Using the SSTEW Scale alongside other environment scales (ITERS-R, ECERS-R and ECERS-E) gives users a more complete picture of what high-quality early childhood education and care can look like. We are very excited about the contribution SSTEW will make to supporting improvement and will be incorporating some of the items into our self-evaluation training for practitioners.

    We will also be supporting the local authorities and settings we work with to access training from the authors to incorporate SSTEW into their toolkits, for settings that are ready. SSTEW is aspirational and will need to be built on good strong base of practice. The authors suggest it is best used by individuals ‘with knowledge of child development and appropriate practice’.

    To contact the authors directly, email Denise Kingston at denise@b27matters.co.uk

    See more details here.

  • "A+ is the only group we authorize to provide training on the scales in the UK. We work frequently with the A+ group, and know of no others in the UK who have worked with us enough to provide the high level of training we would expect."

    Debby Cryer Co-author of the ECERS-R, ITERS-R and FCCERS-R

    "Many people have contributed to the development and testing of this instrument and they have been acknowledged in earlier editions. For the development of this publication we are indebted to Sandra Mathers and Faye Linskey of A+ Education Ltd. (see www.aplus-education.co.uk). Through their training courses with advisory and practitioner groups, as well as work in assisting U.K. Local Authorities to use ECERS for measuring and improving quality, they have become experts on the scales. We have benefited from their expertise in expanding the notes for clarification. This was done by listening to the views of those who work every day with young children, collected from hundreds of fi eld visits. Sandra and Faye have a unique and powerful blend of research experience coupled with practitioner knowledge. They will continue to be involved with the scales by developing the All About the ECERS-E. We are grateful to them both for their diligence, fine attention to detail, and, most importantly, their imaginative approach to assessment".

    Kathy Sylva, Iram Siraj-Blatchford, and Brenda Taggart, ECERS-E authors August 2010

  • Newly published December 2014 – the revised addenda to the ECERS and ITERS.

    The revision was developed with the help of a local authority panel and reference to the English Health Protection Agency Guidelines and the Early Years Foundation Stage 2014. It is intended for use by users of the ECERS-R in the UK, and aims to align the ECERS-R with UK guidance and standards in the small number of instances where there are differences.

    It identifies recommended changes to the scoring of the ECERS-R scale, the ‘All About the ECERS-R’ and the latest US ‘Additional Notes for Clarification’ available at the time of publication (December 2014, see www.ersi.info), resulting from a cross-referencing exercise with the HPA Guidance and the EYFS, and consultation with UK stakeholders.

    Click below to download:
  • EYFS Maps
    These documents map the ECERS, ITERS and FCCERS to the revised Early Years Foundation Stage Framework 2014.
    Click on the images below to download
             ECERS                    ITERS                    FCCERS
    EYFS-01 EYFS-02 EYFS-03



    SEF Maps
    Published in January 2014 – road maps showing how the ECERS, ITERS and FCCERS can be used to provide evidence for each section of the Ofsted early years SEF.

    Mapping the ERS to the current School Ofsted framework EY judgements.

    View here.

    ECERS/ITERS-SEF map     FCCERS-SEF map
    ECERS-E_Tab FCCERS-R-Tab




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