Changes in the Characteristics of Sure Start Local Programme Areas – 2000/1 to 2002/3.

National Evaluation of Sure Start team et al, July 2005

Most aspects of social services activity increased in Sure Start Local Programme  (SSLPs) areas between 2000 and 2003, against a backdrop of falling social services involvement elsewhere in England, the third report from the National Evaluation of Sure Start reveals.

SSLPs aim to improve the health and well-being of under-four’s to give them a good start at school.

The report, which looks at changes in those disadvantaged areas over a two-year period, also reveals a noticeable increase in full day care and creche providers for children up to seven, plus a rise in out of school care facilities.

As the number of unemployed adults in these areas has dropped – at a faster pace than in the rest of the country – there are now fewer under-three’s in SSLP areas in homes dependent on benefits.

By 2002/2003, more primary school children in SSLP areas had been identified as having special educational needs compared with 2000/2001. There was also an increase in the number of 4- to 17-year-olds receiving disability allowance.

Over the same period, GCSE results and results at age 11 showed a greater improvement than in the rest of the country.

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