NEW figures have revealed that Portsmouth is doing better than most areas of the country when educating children up to the age of five.
Figures released by the Department for Education showed that more Portsmouth four to five-year-olds have achieved a good level of development. The figures show the city is ahead of the national average on measures for early years education.
They show that last year, 64 per cent of four to five-year-olds achieved a good level of personal, social and emotional development.
This compares to 58 per cent across Hampshire and 59 per cent nationally. It puts Portsmouth in the top 30 of 152 council areas in England.
Councillor Rob Wood, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for children and education, said: ‘These figures are a tribute to the job done by pre-schools, nurseries, childminders, children’s centres, schools, council support staff, carers and parents. We’re all working together to help young children achieve their potential and get them off to a good start in life.’
The figures also show that in March, 78 per cent of Portsmouth nurseries, pre-schools and childminders had ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Ofsted ratings, compared to 75 per cent across Hampshire and 73 per cent nationally.
Last year, the development gap between children getting free school meals and children from better off families was 14 per cent in Portsmouth, and 23 per cent across Hampshire, compared to 18 per cent nationally.
This measures how children are helped to overcome any disadvantages they may have.
Susan Collis, deputy head of Brambles nursery and children’s centre in Southsea, said: ‘Brambles is delighted to know that Portsmouth is doing so well. We feel it’s a reflection of the importance that the local authority places on early years education.’
Cllr Roy Perry, the county council’s lead member for children’s services said: ‘The county council wants all young children to develop and thrive educationally and socially and so works very closely with early years providers and childminders to help them raise standards and attainment for young children, narrowing the gap between children on free school meals and their peers.’