Alliance comments on Public Health England report on London children’s ‘school-readiness’

11th August 2015

Commenting on the Public Health England report: ‘Improving school readiness: Creating a better start for London’, which states that 40% of London children did not achieve a ‘good level of development’ by age five in 2013/14, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said:

“The first five years of a child’s life are vital to their long-term development, and so it is very encouraging to see that the proportion of children achieving a good level of development improved across all London boroughs in 2013/2014. That said, the fact two out of every five London children - and in some boroughs, nearly half - are not achieving a good level of development by age five remains cause for concern, and the report is right to highlight the crucial importance of engaging with parents as a way of supporting children’s early learning and development.

“It is particularly critical that children from more disadvantaged backgrounds are given adequate early support, and given this, it’s notable that the majority of London boroughs, including several areas of high deprivation, have seen better than average outcomes in relation to the proportion of children receiving free schools meals achieving a good level of development. Going forward, we would hope that approaches to early learning and development that have proven effective in supporting children from deprived backgrounds will be shared across different boroughs - and local authorities across the country as a whole - to help in ensure that all children, regardless of background or where they live, are given the best possible start in life.”

For further information or to interview, Neil Leitch, Chief Executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance please contact:
Shannon Hawthorne
Pre-school Learning Alliance
T: 020 7697 2503
E: Shannon Hawthorne


Notes for editors

  1. The Pre-school Learning Alliance is the largest voluntary sector provider of quality affordable childcare and education in England.
  2. Through direct provision and its membership of 14,000 nurseries, sessional pre-schools and parent and toddler groups, the Alliance supports over 800,000 children and their families in England. The Alliance also develops and runs family learning programmes, offers information and advice, runs acclaimed training and accreditation programmes and campaigns to influence early years policy and practice.
  3. For information about the Pre-school Learning Alliance, visit our website:

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