Government investment targets social mobility and early years education


Education secretary Damian Hinds has unveiled a range of measures designed to boost social mobility and early years education in the UK.

A multi-million pound fund aims to reduce the number of children that complete reception year without the necessary communication skills by half within the next decade.

Research from the Department for Education shows that 28% of four-and-five-year-olds do not have the literacy and communication skills that are expected at the end of reception year.

In a speech addressing the Resolution Foundation, Mr Hinds has targeted social mobility by developing ways to provide even more support to parents as their children learn new words and skills.

“It’s time to raise our ambitions, to expect more and to expect better for every child, whatever their background – and to build a country where everyone can make the most of themselves,” he said.

A coalition of organisations including businesses, technology companies, charities and media groups will provide support and advice to enable these goals.

In addition, a £30 million fund will enable successful schools to run additional nursery places in disadvantaged areas, providing more youngsters with access to high quality early education.

Schools will also be asked to showcase projects that can close the attainment gap noted between those from disadvantaged areas and their peers.

Part of the process will focus on the creation of new partnerships between schools and councils, charities, and Multi-Academy Trusts.

Furthermore, £20 million will be invested into the professional development and training of early years staff in disadvantaged areas of the UK in order to enhance children’s language and speech development.

Mr Hinds also targeted what he described as “Seven Key Truths” that will support children to achieve more and unlock their full potential.

This included a focus on early learning up to the age of three, access to a good school education, high-quality teaching and a wealth of extracurricular activities.