To give children the best possible start in life and learning.
Why is this an issue?
In 2016, the percentage of all pupils achieving a good level of development (GLD) in Stoke-on-Trent was 65.1% in comparison to a national average of 69.3%.
The number of children eligible for pupil premium across the city exceeds the national average. However, the number of 3- and 4-year-olds benefiting from free early education provisions has remained below the national average since 2008 (currently ranking 102 out of 152 local authorities). Data shows that attendance for funded places is often patchy: 15% of eligible 3- and 4-year-olds attend less than the available 15 hours, with the majority situated in the wards of highest deprivation.
This problem is most extreme in the most disadvantaged wards. Evidence shows early language acquisition affects all aspects of children’s non-physical development. Children who are behind in language development at age 5 are 6 times less likely to reach the expected standard in English at age 11, and 11 times less likely to achieve the expected level in maths.
What will we do?
We want to make sure that all children, regardless of background or circumstances, have a fair and equal start in life. We’ll build on progress already made to boost the number of children attaining and exceeding expected standards in the early years. Further support will ensure they gain the fundamental skills, abilities and confidence they need to make a flying start in key stage 1.
Find out more about our projects here.
Our target for 2020 to 2021
We aim to close the gap between children in the city achieving a good level of development and their peers nationally. This will mean that by 2021 to 2022 at least 100 more children will have reached this level than was the case in 2016. By 2022 to 2023, the city will have closed the gap entirely and will be in the top half of all local authority districts for pupils achieving a good level of development.
To find out more about our targets read our delivery plan here.