Richmond Borough Council Commended for Support Given to Disadvantaged Children

Richmond Borough Council has been commended for working to improve 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 Borough Council 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 report can be read at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fi…

The Commission has recognised 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.

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.”