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ERIC Number: EJ1204864
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jan
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1478-2103
Governing and Commercialising Early Childhood Education: Profiting from the International Early Learning and Well-Being Study (IELS)?
Roberts-Holmes, Guy
Policy Futures in Education, v17 n1 p27-40 Jan 2019
This article examines why the government in England has signed the country up to taking part in the OECD's new international assessment known as The International Early Learning and Well-being Study (IELS). The article highlights the role of IELS as a technology of neoliberal governance. Looking forward it considers how IELS may open up new business opportunities and spaces for profit for businesses in England and elsewhere. At present, IELS is a fledgling product, but it may in time further add to the explanatory and governing power of the OECD to steer national policy makers towards a homogenised educational future defined by the organisation. IELS is run and managed by the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER), a national not-for-profit research organisation. The article explores how this same not-for-profit organisation also won the remarkably similar early childhood English Baseline Assessment 2 worth £9.8 million. Finally, the article examines the possibility that, in the future, if IELS were to develop, the edu-business Pearson might be interested in IELS to add to its existing interests in global data governance for profit.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)