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Email: press.office@naht.org.uk 

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NAHT responds to IFS report on links between Sure Start access and GCSE attainment

Responding to a new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) which found children living near Sure Start centres during the first five years of their live performed better in GCSEs, James Bowen, assistant general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“Children from disadvantaged backgrounds have disproportionately suffered from funding cuts over the last decade, not just to schools, but to wider services that should be there to help them. 

"The decision to scrap Sure Start was a major mistake and support for young children and their families has to be properly rebuilt. If we get the support right in the early years, we reap the benefits in the long-term. Early intervention and co-ordinated help in the early years is one of the nearest things to a silver bullet when it comes to closing the attainment gap. 

“We are urging the government to put forward a more ambitious plan to develop and properly invest in family hubs and tackle the root causes of poverty and disadvantage - as well as significantly boosting funding for both schools and services like social care and mental health which are so important in supporting pupils and ensuring they can focus on their learning.”

First published 09 April 2024