Pupils: Disadvantaged

Department for Education written question – answered at on 26 September 2023.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of the report entitled Addressing education and health inequity: perspectives from the North of England published by Child of the North All-Party Parliamentary Group on 11 September 2023.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will hold discussions with (a) the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and (b) the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the recommendations of the report entitled Addressing education and health inequity: perspectives from the North of England published by Child of the North All-Party Parliamentary Group on 11 September 2023.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the report entitled Addressing education and health inequity: perspectives from the North of England published by Child of the North All-Party Parliamentary Group on 11 September 2023, whether she will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on (a) data sharing between and (b) needs assessments undertaken by agencies with a responsibility for children.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Government is committed to providing a world class education system for all pupils so that they can achieve their full potential no matter where they live.

The Department is taking a range of steps to support and deliver programmes designed to help disadvantaged pupils, including improving the quality of teaching and curriculum resources, strengthening the school system and providing targeted support where needed. Many of these programmes address the substantive points made in the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s (APPG) report.

The Government is providing around £300 million to enable 75 Local Authorities to open family hubs to improve vital services to give every child the best start in life and so that families can better access the support they need. This builds on the Government’s previous funding of family hubs, which included a £12 million transformation fund to open family hubs in a further 13 Local Authorities in England, including York.

To support the development of the youngest and most disadvantaged children, the Department is providing a package of training, qualifications, expert guidance and targeted support for the early years sector.

The National Funding Formula (NFF) continues to distribute funding fairly, based on the needs of schools and their pupil cohorts. In 2023/24, a greater proportion of schools NFF funding was targeted towards deprived pupils than ever before at 9.8% (over £4 billion). This will help schools to close attainment gaps. In 2023/24, schools with the highest levels of deprivation have, on average, attracted the largest per pupil funding increases.

On top of this core funding, the pupil premium, worth over £2.9 billion this year, continues to support schools to improve outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.

Almost £5 billion has also been made available for education recovery programmes in early years, schools and colleges, especially focused on helping the most disadvantaged or vulnerable, wherever they live.

The Department is providing funding to 55 Education Investment Areas (EIAs) where outcomes in literacy and numeracy are the poorest, including £86 million in trust capacity funding to help strong trusts to expand into areas most in need of improvement. 24 Priority Education Investment Areas (PEIAs), that have particularly low attainment and high rates of disadvantage, will receive more intensive support in addition to the significant help available to all EIAs.

To facilitate cross Government working on the Levelling Up agenda, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities leads a regular group including Ministers from all Departments, including from the Department for Education and HM Treasury. The group provides support, challenge and accountability to drive progress and identify opportunities for collaboration on the Levelling Up missions as well as wider issues.

The Department also continues to work closely with Ministers and officials in the Department of Health and Social Care to collaborate on ways to improve data and information sharing. The Department has set out its plans in the ‘Improving multi-agency information sharing’ report to Parliament in July 2023 and is working across government to progress these.

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