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Ofsted: Sure Start 'has failed to close the gap in education'

The chief school inspector has told ITV News the Government's Sure Start programme has failed to close the gap in educational achievement between rich and poor students. He also claimed nurseries are failing to get children ready for school.

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Nurseries sector 'providing unclear information'

Only a third of children from low income backgrounds have reached a good level of development at the age of five last year, according to a new report by Ofsted.

The school inspectors called for a radical shake up of nursery education in their first Early Years Annual Report published today. According to the findings:

  • Choosing the most suitable early years provider is often difficult for parents because the sector is “complex, opaque and of variable quality”.
  • The information available is unclear, patchy and inaccessible particularly for disadvantaged families.
  • Providers in this sector need to be better held to account for their performance, particularly when they are in receipt of public money.
  • A lack of data and standardised assessment means that neither parents, providers nor the government are clear enough about whether children are ready for school.
  • Data protection rules are currently limiting the information Ofsted can provide to parents about registered child-minders in their area.

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