The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission says the development gap between rich and poor five-year-olds must halve for a more equal society.
Pre school pupils from poor backgrounds are still lagging behind by the time they take GCSEs, with those pupils half as likely to get five good GCSEs as their wealthier peers, according to the commission. This means that those pupils have less chance of going to good universities.
Commission chairman Alan Milburn, calls for more stretching objectives for the early years and a new national definition of school readiness.
“Current signs of progress do not go nearly far or fast enough to address the gulf between the divided Britain of the present and the One Nation Britain we aspire to become.” states Mr Milburn. The commission also calls for a rethink of teacher pay and the funding of teacher training.
The commission also states “At the very bottom of society there are more than one million children living a life of persistent poverty.
“They are excluded from sharing in the many opportunities that life in modern Britain affords.”
The government has said however it is waging an ‘all out war against poverty’ citing the new minimum wage , the pupil premium and extra cash pumped into schools, to help pupils from poor backgrounds.