1990 Rumbold Report (complete)
The Rumbold Report (1990)
Starting with Quality
The Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Quality of the Educational Experience offered to 3 and 4 year olds, chaired by Mrs Angela Rumbold CBE MP
London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1990
Notes on the text
In the spring of 1989 education secretary Kenneth Baker asked Angela Rumbold (pictured), then a minister in the DES, to chair a Committee of Inquiry on 'the quality of the educational experience offered to 3 and 4 year olds'.
Rumbold (1932-2010) began her political career in 1974 as a local councillor in Kingston. She became an MP in 1982 and was a minister from 1985 to 1992. She held senior posts in Conservative Central Office and on a wide range of public bodies, but was never invited to join the cabinet, perhaps because she was too outspoken: she once described herself as 'rather rightwing and truculent' (obituary The Guardian 21 June 2010).
John MacGregor became education secretary in July 1989, so it was to him that the ten members of the committee submitted their report on 27 September 1990.
In the British education system, the term 'early years' is generally taken to mean the age range 3 to 7 or 8, embracing both nursery and early primary education. This report deals with the nursery element of early years provision.
There are six documents dealing with early years education on this website. They are:
1908 Acland Report School Attendance of Children Below the Age of Five
The report online
The full text of the report (including the Annexes) is online in a single web page.
The report was divided into two parts. In the original version, the text of Part One was printed in two columns to a page; in Part Two, three columns. This arrangement would be inconvenient on a computer screen, so the text is shown here in a single column.
Two methods of highlighting were used in the printed text: a medium bold type and a heavy bold type. I have reproduced the former as italics and the latter as bold type.
The pages presented here are therefore not exact facsimiles of the original printed version: in addition to the above, the font (Times, Arial etc) and size of print - and therefore the number of words to a line and lines to a page - are determined by the settings you have chosen for your web browser. However, the page breaks are correct. In other words, if something is shown here as being on, say, page 37, you can be sure it appeared on page 37 in the original.
Summary of the report's main recommendations
Recommendations are printed in italic type throughout the report. They include:
The 1990 Rumbold Report and the above notes were prepared for the web by Derek Gillard. The report was uploaded on 10 February 2008; the revised notes on 19 November 2012.