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.
The 2015 Bradford Family Learning Festival has the theme of Colour and Light.
The festival is taking place across the autumn half term break, and promises loads of activities for families across the Bradford District The Festival is run with our partners at the National Media Museum, the National Trust and Forster’s Bistro along with the Impressions Gallery and Bradford Council’s library service.
During the 23rd of October to the 31st October, Bradford libraries along with Bradford’s museums, will be hosting various colourful events readings and craft activities. East Riddlesden Hall will be encouraging visitors to make coloured lanterns in time for Halloween and at Cliffe Castle, create your very own stained glass to take home! Get your picture taken in a variety of colourful costumes at the Impressions Gallery in Centenary Square. Come to the science events at Forsters Bistro and check out the Media Museum where creative events will be running, throughout the week! There is something for everybody!
Contact your local Bradford library in the first instance, or click the picture above for more information.
Education secretary Nicky Morgan is teaming up with Little Britain actor and writer David Walliams to promote library membership. The Department for Education will also support the Reading Agency to work with schools to get more Year 3 pupils (aged 7-8) enrolled at their local library.
Nicky Morgan says: “No matter where they live or what their background, every single child in this country deserves the opportunity to read, to read widely, and to read well – it’s a simple matter of social justice…That’s why I am pleased to team up with David on this national mission to make our young people the most literate in Europe.”
David Walliams adds:”In a world of the constant distractions of television and computer games, it is more important than ever to encourage youngsters to read.”
Half of under two year olds who are entitled to free nursery places are not taking up the offer, according to Sir Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector of OFSTED. Those from disadvantaged backgrounds can make huge strides to match the attainment of their wealthier peers, if they were able to attend he states. However, the department for Education disagrees.
Poor pupils are not reaping the benefits of the Pupil Premium in schools, according to the National Audit Office.
Some two million children between five and 16 qualify for funding, out of seven million pupils. £2.5bn was given to schools in 2014-15 as pupil-premium funding – money allocated for children from poorer backgrounds. The aim is to “close the gap” between richer and poorer children, by improving academic performance.
Amyas Morse head of the NAO states: “Early signs are that the Pupil Premium has potential, but it will take time for its full impact to become clear. As it takes the policy forward, the Department will need to review whether spending more in this way would allow it to close the attainment gap more quickly. The high degree of local discretion has benefits and costs. Some schools don’t appropriately focus funding on disadvantaged pupils, and some spend funds on activities which are not demonstrably effective.
“Only by monitoring the extent of child abuse and neglect in the UK can we judge whether efforts to prevent maltreatment and to protect children are working.” This is according to Peter Wanless, NSPCC CEO, after the organisation published worrying UK wide statistics for 2015.
In its key findings, the organisation’s ‘How Safe Are Our Children 2015’ report found that:
All 4 countries in the UK have seen the number of recorded sexual offences against children increase over the last year.
The Youth Sports Trust claims that children might be losing out to sport and physical activity, because of their reliance on hand held devices. The Leicestershire based charity states that action is needed now to reform how PE and sport is working in schools and has forecast how this could all look by the year 2035.
A report by the charity demonstrates how technology can be used to change PE and school sport, empower young people to take responsibility for their own activity levels and that PE can play an important role in educating young people about healthy balance, in their lives.
Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sports Trust, said: “The digital revolution presents opportunities and challenges with young people potential hostages to their handheld devices.
The chief executive continues: “This report clearly signals that action is needed now to modernise the approach to PE and school sport and in doing so, guarantee the best possible future for generations to come.”