Department for Education Minister, Nick Gibb MP, made it clear yesterday during Education questions that the Government have made no concentrated effort to help summer-born children close the learning gap between them and their classmates, according to Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham.
Currently, children born in August are put into the same class as children that were born eleven months before them, leading to the children born in the summer months often getting left behind or ending up on special-needs registers simply because they haven’t reached key cognitive and development stages.
Speaking at questions to the Department for Education, Alex asked:
“The Minister will know how many summer born children needlessly end up on the special needs register because of the lack of specific targeted support to help them close the gap with their older classmates. What guidance and resources has the Minister given to schools to see these children get the support that they need?”
Answering for the Government, Education Minister Nick Gibb MP answered:
“We have written to local authorities to say they should take the best interests of the child into account when determining which year group summer-born children should go into. It is important that summer-born children get the support they need, and our schools are providing that support.”
Speaking after the departmental questions, the Stockton North MP said:
“The Government’s reply was as weak as their approach to closing this gap. They have promised to take action, but have been reviewing the impact for nearly a year. The more they dither and delay providing the specific required resources for summer born children, the more children that will be affected by this. Early years are key in the development of a child, and we should be doing everything we can to ensure that children start off on an even playing field.”
For further information, please contact Alex’s office on 020 7219 7157