The TES is reporting that the government has announced that schools, nurseries and childminders will receive extra funding to help disadvantaged infants catch up with their peers…
Three and four-year-olds from low-income families will attract an additional £300 in funding to help close the attainment gap by the time the start school.
Trials of the early years pupil premium (EYPP) will start in seven areas in January 2015 and the funding will be introduced nationwide from April 2015.
The announcement comes after it was revealed that children from disadvantaged families are already behind their classmates by the age of five – with just 53 per reaching a good level of development in June 2014 compared to 65 per cent of other children.
Nurseries will be able to decide how to use the extra cash to help three and four year olds develop – whether it is through specialist staff or activities focusing on areas such as speech and language.
The announcement follows a consultation on the EYPP, which received widespread backing from respondents.
Primary pupils on free school meals already receive an extra £1,300 each, while it is £935 per secondary student.
But Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-School Learning Alliance, warned that £300 per child was not enough.
“We remain supportive of the EYPP and welcome plans to implement the premium in April 2015,” he said. “That said, while this extra funding is a step in the right direction, it is still only a small step…an additional 53p per hour for eligible children is likely to have limited practical or tangible impact on provision.”
…The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), a charity which funds trials into ideas aimed at closing the gap between poor children and others, will now include educational research covering early years on its website and will be funding research in the area…
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