5 July 2022

Bridging the gap

Our pilot is proving that schools’ involvement in the early years makes academic and financial sense, writes Katie Oliver, and there’s no time to wait to start.

As sports days take place across our schools, thinking about children’s school careers as a race can be enlightening. Sadly, a growing number of disadvantaged pupils are starting theirs in the changing rooms while their peers are on the starting line.

In that context, while some of the recommendations in the Times Education Commission final report published last week might be controversial, we at Ark Start particularly welcome the suggestions about how to improve the quality of and access to early years provision. Often something of a Cinderella sector, its mention as a key way to ‘level up’ is encouraging.

After all, this is the starting line, and creating high-quality provision for our youngest learners in the most deprived communities is the most vital work we can be doing to address educational inequality.

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