Imran, an ambassador for Better Start Bradford, today called for further support for valuable programmes aimed at improving outcomes for primary school children.
Key Stage 2 results released today by the Department for Education show Bradford towards the bottom of the pile with only 46% of children meeting national expectations, raising concerns that not enough is being done to support children, particularly those from deprived communities, throughout their early years in order to boost their achievements during their first years of primary school education.
Between the ages of 0-4, children develop behaviour patterns that will stay with them into their adult life, so it is incredibly important that these behaviours are positive to the child’s future development. When early education and support is not available, language skills in particular develop at a significantly slower rate, which leaves children constantly battling to catch up with their peers rather than being ready at age 4 for school.
The Family Nurse Partnership scheme which has been extended by Better Start Bradford across the District and which works with first-time mothers to tackle the root causes of social disadvantage is one of these programmes, ensuring that additional support is available for those who need it most early on. As a result of the scheme, nearly twice as many children develop speech after 12 months compared to those without the support.
Speaking on Better Start Bradford and early years schemes, Imran said:
“The work done by Better Start Bradford to help parents give their children the best start in life is incredibly important to thousands of children in Bradford, as it is interventions and support provided to children in early years that sets them on a course towards stronger educational achievement in later life, and I strongly welcome their work.
“Whilst it is clear that any strategy to improve educational attainment needs a multi-faceted approach, the role of supporting children and parents in their early years cannot be understated, and the Government need to be providing better assistance for schemes such as Better Start Bradford and Family Nurse Partnerships.
“If we do not tackle the root causes of the issues that are faced by young and first time mothers, the cost is also ultimately far higher to the Council who have to pay for expensive intervention at a later stage when children face educational difficulties at home, so I will be urging both the Council and the Government to ensure that we are able to work to address these root causes.”