Narrowing the Gap in Outcomes for Vulnerable Groups - The Messages That Matter...to Narrow the Gaps

Julia Waldman

19 December 2008

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Section 4 of Narrowing the Gap: Final Guidance Year 1

This overview captures the key messages from data and research findings obtained from the Narrowing the Gap research review work completed by NFER between June 2007 and August 2008. The research has been commissioned by the Local Government Association.

Key Findings

  • Overall the evidence validates the policy direction of Every Child Matters - with its strong focus on prevention and early intervention and the prioritisation of support for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in their early years.
  • Gaps in attainment and outcomes remain for many vulnerable groups. These include:
    • poorer health outcomes for those from poorer socio-economic groups
    • those excluded from school or with poor records of attendance and looked after children (LAC) have increased chances of poorer mental health
    • greater likelihood of offending behaviour by children from poorer socio-economic background, those who are not in school and LAC lower school attainment levels for children with special educational needs, those from poorer socio-economic background and Gypsy/Roma and Irish Traveller families
  • For some gaps the evidence is not available to identify whether there has been any change at group level.
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