Plan launched to help 'disadvantaged' children get top marks

20 March 2018

Cheshire West and Chester Council is helping children from ‘disadvantaged’ backgrounds succeed in school.

By the time children start school, there is a 19 month development difference between the richest and poorest children, according to Government data. This gap increases as the children get older.

To address this, the council has launched the Diminishing the Differences for Disadvantaged Learners strategy. With £236,000 funding from the Council's budget, it will tackle issues which prevent some children from doing well. 

Highlights of the strategy include:
  • Encouraging parents of pre-school childcare to use services to which they are entitled.
  • Tackling underperformance in schools by bringing school leaders together to share good ideas.
  • Monitoring data to identify struggling children and offering help to schools where necessary.
  • Providing additional support for children in the Care of the Council.
  • Giving advice to parents in how to nurture their child’s education.
  • Supporting schools in their efforts to ensure ‘disadvantaged’ children regularly attend.
  • Helping care leavers and ‘disadvantaged’ young people find jobs by improving educational outcomes.
Children from 'disadvantaged' backgrounds are to also get help to improve their maths skills after Cheshire West and Chester Council shared a £600,000 grant from the Department for Education's Strategic School Improvement Fund with Cheshire East Council.

Councillor Nicole Meardon, cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: "The strategy aims to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their non-disadvantaged peers, and achieve better outcomes for this group of children and young people.

"Cheshire West and Chester Council will ensure that the support it offers to schools is informed by the latest research, best practice and offers value for money.

"We will work in partnership with a shared moral purpose to raise aspirations, boost life chances for all children and particularly those who are disadvantaged.

"Making sure our children have the best start in life is one of our Council’s top priorities. That is why it is so important that every child reaches their full potential regardless of their background."

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