Pupil premium must go to nurseries, Alan Milburn argues

The pupil premium that provides extra funding for poorer children should be paid to nurseries as well as schools, ministers have been told. This is from the Times

Alan Milburn, the Government’s social mobility czar, also wants new parents on lower incomes to receive more help and advice.

A report commissioned by Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, and published [today] will say that when it comes to closing the attainment gap between rich and poor, too little attention is paid to a child’s first five years. In what will be seen as a dig at Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, it says that early years education has lost out to school reform.

…It found that one third of children in poorer areas attended pre-school institutions that were rated less than good: in more affluent districts that falls to just a fifth.

The body, chaired by Mr Milburn, a former Health Secretary, says that extending the premium, now worth about £900, to nurseries would be one way of helping to close the gap.

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What do you think of Alan Milburn’s idea that pupil premium should be extended to nurseries? Would it help make a real difference to closing the gap? Please give us your thoughts in the comments or on twitter… 

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