High praise for local support for disadvantaged children

Release Date: 04 December 2017

Richmond has been praised for its work in improving outcomes for the most disadvantaged children in the borough.

In its fifth annual State of the Nation report, the Social Mobility Commission found that Richmond has “dramatically” improved poorer children’s outcomes since 2014. The report highlights the borough’s use of its 15 hours of early education for the more disadvantaged two-year-olds and praises the Richmond for “outstripping” the number of eligible children who benefit from this provision beyond the national average by a wide margin.

The Commission recognises that 90% of eligible families take up educational services for their two-year-olds, unlike the national average of just 71%. Benefiting from their early education provision from an early age means that children are more ready for school. Indeed, over 61% of children from low-income families are reaching the expected standard at the end of reception and are ‘ready for school’ – the highest in the country.

The borough has a dedicated Early Years’ Service, provided by Achieving for Children. The service recognises the importance of ensuring as many two year olds as possible can access their pre-school education and children are fortunate to have high quality provision in our early years settings.

Officers work with parents, carers and professionals to find the right educational offer or provider to meet the family’s needs.

Responding to the report, Cllr Susan Chappell, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools, said:

“To ensure that our pre-school children have a good start in life it is vital that affordable childcare is available when and where parents want it.

“We are fortunate to have dedicated and high quality early years and childcare sector across the borough, where organisations have a real understanding of the importance of providing quality, accessible and affordable services.

“It isn’t always easy. And, there are financial challenges. However, we are committed to our continued work with the sector, exploring how we can address these challenges and retain a high quality offer for all our young children.”

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159. 

Reference: P562/17

Updated: 29 December 2017