To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made a comparative assessment of trends in the level of (a) sure start centres and (b) child benefit claims.
The Department for Education has not made a comparative assessment. The social mobility action plan, ‘Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential’, sets a clear direction for all those who have a part to play, including those responsible for children’s centres. Our focus now is on delivering this, including through a £10 million investment to build the evidence base for what works, and the £8.5 million local government programme, working with the Local Government Association. Through this programme of local authority peer support and challenge we will work with sector leaders to identify best practice in closing the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers, including through children’s centres.