Frank Field MP
Your MP for Birkenhead
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We must put children on a level playing field

19
Mar
The Liverpool City Region’s Child Poverty and Life Chances Commission decided last Friday to prioritise efforts on making sure children start school successfully.

There are many initiatives the Commission will suggest but this will take priority.

It reflects a groundswell of opinion in favour of having clear outcomes attached to the spending of taxpayers’ money. It is an outcome to which Wirral Council’s leader, Councillor Phil Davies, is committed.

Talking last Friday to Julia Hassall, Director of Children’s Services here in Wirral, it was clear how she is directing attention to this outcome.

When children start school there are huge differences in their range of skills and abilities. The aim in adopting starting school successfully as a goal is to narrow these differences, hopefully, to negligible proportions.We know that schools develop all children’s talents and abilities. But they don’t successfully narrow the gaps for those children which are so noticeable when they first start school.

My belief is that ensuring all our efforts before the age of four are directed towards this goal will do more than anything to increase the life chances of our poorest children and so reduce child poverty in the next generation.

The aim of the report I submitted to the Prime Minister was subtitled ‘preventing poor children becoming poor adults’.

Last Friday there was a report back from the Foundation Years Trust working here in Birkenhead on how it is going about working with as many partners as possible to achieve that objective.

With Wirral Council’s support, this project can become a real trailblazer.
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