Every child starts school ready to learn

The Mayor and the Combined Authority are determined to ensure that every child has the basic skills needed to start school. It is estimated that around 12,000 children started school in September 2017 without the skills needed to learn, such as being able to read or write at an appropriate level.

The focus on school-readiness is a major part of the Greater Manchester Strategy, which includes the city-region’s five-year aim to exceed the national average for the proportion of children reaching a ‘good level of development’ at the end of reception. In order to achieve this we are focusing on:

  • all parents having access to the support they need
  • high quality early years services
  • excellent places to play, develop and learn
  • strong leadership and systems

In October 2017, the Combined Authority held a School Readiness Summit which highlighted the impact that economic instability, low wages and ‘time poverty’ can have on families, and children’s development. Greater Manchester health and public bodies, including primary and secondary schools, signed a pledge to work together, and to share information and resources, in an effort to cut year on year the numbers of children that arrive at school not ready to learn. 

School Readiness Summit – February 2019
More than 300 schools, public, private & voluntary sector organisations came together on Thursday 28 February, for the second Greater Manchester School Readiness Summit.

Delegates heard from Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham as he revealed there has been an increase in the number of children starting Year 1 with a ‘good level of development’, with approximately 200 more children starting school ready to learn compared to the previous year.