Focus on ethnic groups to boost mobility, early years told

The Social Mobility Commission highlights inequality in new report
Early years practitioners have been encouraged to focus on the needs of ethnic minority groups in a bid to fight social inequality.
A new report from the Social Mobility Commission has highlighted inequalities in access to quality early years services for children from different ethnic groups.
Titled Ethnicity, Gender and Social Mobility, the report found that high-quality pre-schooling could “act as a buffer” against the negative effects of poorer quality education later in children’s lives.
However, the report found that children from different ethnicity groups accessed pre-school services in varying numbers. Children from Bangladeshi (64%), Black African (71%) and Pakistani (72%) groups were reported to access pre-school services at the lowest rates, which, according to the report, leaves them at a disadvantage when they start school. Conversely, 91% of children from Indian backgrounds attended pre-school – the highest of any ethnic group.
The report suggested that the low uptake of pre-school amongst Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi and Pakistani children could help explain why boys from these groups have relatively low foundation profile scores.
Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility Commission, commented: “Britain is a long way from having a level playing field of opportunity for all, regardless of gender, ethnicity or background.”
The report recommends that practitioners try to work with parents, particularly those from groups less likely to engage in the children’s education, such as poor white British, and Traveller groups.
 

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