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News story

We join government-led coalition to address early years language gap

31 Jul 2018

Dad reading with son.jpg

We are thrilled to announce that we are a founding member of the Department for Education’s new coalition which aims to halve the number of five-year-olds who start school without good early language and communication skills by 2028.

Good early language and communication skills are crucial building blocks for literacy but last year, one-quarter (28%) of five-year-olds in England finished their first year of school lacking the early language and communication skills expected for their age. This is a gap most will never recover from during their school life and one which has a huge impact on social mobility.

We welcome the Government’s commitment to convening a national partnership to transform the way we support children during this critical period in their development. We know from our work in communities like Middlesbrough and Stoke-on-Trent that this approach works; by bringing together local businesses, public sector organisations and charities, we have helped thousands of young children develop the early language and communications skills they need to thrive.

We will help to bring together leading businesses, tech companies, media organisations, charities and academics for a summit in Autumn 2018 to identify the best ways to give parents the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to support their young child’s language development at home. We are thrilled that our corporate partners WHSmith, British Land and KPMG are backing the coalition and will be supporting the summit.

For more information, visit the Department for Education's website.

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