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Kate concerned over lack of support for disadvantaged local children

Kate has expressed concern at statistics showing that nearly half of children in Stretford and Urmston receiving Free School Meals (FSM) don’t reach the expected level of speech and language skills by age five.

The statistics from charity Save the Children, show that 27 per cent of local children did not reach the expected levels of speech and language skills by the time they were five years old.

This increased to 47 per cent of the children on free school meals, meaning that children from the poorest families are twice as likely to fail to reach the expected level of attainment by the age of five.

Research by Save the Children shows that falling behind at an early age has a significant impact on their attainment throughout school and their prospects in adulthood.

This isn’t the first time that Kate called out huge inequalities between children in Trafford.

Kate wrote to the Conservative Leader of Trafford Council, Sean Anstee, back in January, to express her anger that, in some areas of Trafford, almost half of all children are growing up in poverty.

There are huge contrasts in the levels of child poverty across the borough of Trafford - 41 per cent of children are growing up in poverty in Bucklow St Martins, which includes Partington, Carrington and parts of Sale, compared with just six per cent in Timperley.

Mr Anstee responded to Kate with a list of measures that the Council is taking to reduce child poverty.

He claimed that “Targeted work has been undertaken in those schools with a higher proportion of children in receipt of Free School Meals, with some real improvement in reducing the attainment gaps over recent years.”

However, these Save the Children figures reveal there is still a big gap in attainment between the youngest children getting Free School Meals and those who don’t.

Last week the Tory government voted through changes in Universal Credit which will leave over 4,000 poor children in Trafford without a Free School Meal.

Kate said, “We should be concerned when any young child doesn’t meet the expected requirements for speech and language skills. But it’s a disgrace that in Stretford and Urmston, how well you’ll get on at school is determined by how much money your family have got, even at the young age of five.  

“Though Trafford Council say they’re taking action to reduce the difference between the richest and the poorest, it’s clear that more needs to be done.

“I’ll continue to press the Council and the government at every opportunity to make sure that all children across Trafford have a fair start in life.”

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