Be­low stan­dard

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine

CHIL­DREN are be­ing ‘left be­hind’ by the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem in Hilling­don, ac­cord­ing to a Lon­don Mayor hope­ful.

Dame Tessa Jow­ell, who is in the run­ning to be Labour’s can­di­date for Mayor, points to anal­y­sis by the House of Com­mons Li­brary which shows that in 2014, 48% of chil­dren failed to achieve the ex­pected level of de­vel­op­ment aged five.

The fig­ures sug­gest Hilling­don is the worstper­form­ing bor­ough in Lon­don, chil­dren fail­ing to achieve the ex­pected stan­dard in com­mu­ni­ca­tion is par­tic­u­larly poor, at 31%.

Dame Tessa said: “We should all be shocked and gal­vanised to ac­tion by these fig­ures which tell a story of nearly half of Hilling­don chil­dren be­gin­ning on a path that will take them to a life­time of in­equal­ity and de­nied op­por­tu­nity.

“What is even more shock­ing is that this waste of po­ten­tial can be pre­vented by sup­port for very young fam­i­lies and chil­dren in the first 1,000 days of their life to en­sure that when they get to school they are ready for school and ready to learn.”

The politi­cian, who was MP for Dul­wich and West Nor­wood un­til May and a for­mer Cul­ture Sec­re­tary un­der Tony Blair, has said she would make £61m a year avail­able to sup­port de­vel­op­ment in a child’s first 1,000 days.

She added: “If I be­come Mayor of Lon­don I will act im­me­di­ately to re­store Sure Start to its found­ing pur­pose and en­sure that ev­ery child has ev­ery chance.”

Cllr David Sim­monds, Hilling­don cab­i­net mem­ber for ed­u­ca­tion and chil­dren’s ser­vices, said: “The coun­cil is hold­ing schools and other providers rig­or­ously to ac­count for their per­for­mance and chal­leng­ing Of­sted to ful­fil their re­spon­si­bil­ity to drive im­prove­ment.”

The five dis­ci­plines mea­sured in the re­search are: com­mu­ni­ca­tion and lan­guage, phys­i­cal de­vel­op­ment, per­sonal, so­cial and emo­tional de­vel­op­ment, lit­er­acy and math­e­mat­ics.

n CAN­DI­DATE: Tessa Jow­ell

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