Flexibility has led to mixed outcomes

Sure Start’s flexibility at a local level was bound to lead to a
lack of consistency, it was claimed this week after leaked findings
from the programme’s national evaluation showed a wide variety of

Phil Osborne, head of the early years and child care service at
Surrey Council, said he was not surprised by the findings because
the programme had no “overall blueprint”.

Reports this week claim the evaluation shows that Sure Start has
failed to improve some children’s development, language and

Another report from the evaluation team due in October is likely
to say Sure Start should not have been targeted on the basis of age
or geographical boundaries.

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