LGA scheme to slash child inequalities seeks evidence base

A Local Government Association scheme to narrow the gap in outcomes between vulnerable children and their peers is after evidence of best practice.

The Narrowing the Gap project, which is funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, wants examples of what works – “if applied universally and pursued relentlessly” – to narrow inequalities in the five Every Child Matters outcomes, for children aged three to 13 in particular.

Vulnerable groups include children in care, disabled children, those with special educational needs, young offenders, young carers, those who are asylum seekers, refugees or not fluent in English, and children from poorer families.

Last year’s annual report by Ofsted highlighted the importance of narrowing the gap, saying the link between poverty and outcomes was “stark”, though it also pointed out that good children’s services did make a difference.

The project is already working with 96 of the 150 top-tier English council to test what works, with a focus on creating links between schools and children’s services, engaging parents, promoting early intervention and improving leadership.

Former Telford & Wrekin Council director of children’s services Christine Davies is leading the work, backed by former Coram Family chief executive Gillian Pugh, NCB deputy chief executive Barbara Hearn and Jane Held, former Camden Council director of social services.

Email Sue Rowley at suerowley001@yahoo.co.uk or call her on 07758812391 with evidence. 

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