Over 1,000 of Southwark’s five-year-olds have “failed to achieve the expected level of development”, according to Dame Tessa Jowell.
According to research organised by Dame Tessa – the MP for Dulwich &?West Norwood until May and now a London mayoral hopeful – one-in-three kids aged five in the borough have not achieved the standard expected by the Government’s Early Years Foundational Stage framework, a “shocking” figure.
Dame Tessa said: “We should all be shocked and galvanised to action by these figures, which tell a story too many Southwark children beginning on a path that will take them to a lifetime of inequality and denied opportunity.
“What is even more shocking is that this waste of potential can be prevented by support for very young families and children in the first 1,000 days of their life, to ensure that when they get to school they are ready for school and ready to learn.”
The development framework measures children across five disciplines: communication and language, physical development, personal, social and emotional development, literacy and mathematics.
Southwark’s boys particularly struggled with literacy, with nearly 40 per cent failing to reach a good level. 30 per cent of the borough’s boys also struggled with mathematics.
Tessa had previously announced a £61m-a-year fund to support development in a child’s first 1,000 days.
She said: “If I become Mayor of London I will act immediately to restore Sure Start to its founding purpose and ensure that every child has every chance.”