Early Years Childcare Failures Make Exclusions From School Inevitable

Early Years Childcare Failures Make Exclusions From School Inevitable

If a newborn child fails to receive the correct early years care, the neglect can lead to more complex problems later on in both childhood and life, it has been claimed.

Speaking following the Health and Social Care Committee‘s report revealing too many newborns are being failed by the welfare system within the first 1,000 days of birth, leading child psychologist Judith Wenban-Smith has asserted there is a link between failure of early years care and high levels of exclusion rates at school.

It is madness to cut resources

Judith Wenban-Smith, chartered psychologist, family relationships

“The best predictor of a child’s performance throughout their education is their starting point,” she told RightsInfo. “It is madness to cut resources such as health visitors and Sure Start centres. Early disadvantage follows a child throughout their life in terms of underachievement, mental health problems and lifestyle choices.”

MP Findings ‘In Line’ With Psychology

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There is a link between early years care and exclusions later in a child’s life. Image credit: Pixabay

Wenban-Smith asserted the Health and Social Care Committee’s views “are completely in line with theories of psychological development” and clarified the legacy early years neglect can have on primary age children.

She said: “How well supported children are in their very early years is associated with children at the age of seven and eleven.”

Major studies demonstrated how the impact of early experiences, good and bad, is cumulative and as a pattern, set very early in life

Judith Wenban-Smith, chartered psychologist, family relationships

She continued: “Developmental outcomes throughout childhood and into adult life reflect the impact on innate qualities of the environment. Many major studies have demonstrated how the impact of early experiences, good and bad, is cumulative and as a pattern, set very early in life. This is not to claim that outcomes are inevitable”.

“It follows that children from impoverished families where there are adverse factors are greatly disadvantaged because they are less able to develop their potential”.

Children experiencing significant early-life trauma have been typically failed in UK schools

Daniel Thrower, executive headteacher with the Wensum Trust

Daniel Thrower, executive headteacher with the Wensum Trust, who are developing specialist schools for children who were abused at an early age, in order to reduce rates of exclusions, agrees.

“Children experiencing significant early-life trauma have been typically failed in UK schools,” he told The Guardian.

“We wish to use and build on the knowledge we have gained through a two-year pilot project and combine this with the findings of the latest brain-based research, to support those children more effectively and, through the training arm of the school, educate and support fellow professionals.”

Breaking The Vicious Cycle Of Exclusions

Children are being failed at home and in the classroom. Image credit: Unsplash

New research has unearthed a serious lack of facilities available for excluded schoolchildren who may have been subjected to early years neglect.

A Freedom of Information request, submitted by Barnardo’s, found that one in three English councils have no vacant places in Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) – where children who are excluded from mainstream school receive education.

Campaigners argue that the lack of alternative provision and the ‘postcode lottery’ in terms of quality, combined with rising exclusions, are fuelling rises in knife crime, violence and criminal gangs exploiting children.

Barnardo’s is urging the government to act on reducing exclusions from schools and to invest in alternative provision. Wenban-Smith’s argument suggests the vicious cycle of exclusions could be broken if early years care was properly funded.

England’s Care services Not In Line With The Rest Of The UK

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there is funding to provide at least five visits by health professionals to children aged over two-and-a-half before they reach five.

However in England there is no such hard-and-fast rule, and children are entering school environments underprepared, according to a survey carried out by The National Association of Head Teachers.

The survey showed that “school readiness” had worsened recently, and the outcome was that a dramatic spike in early years education was required to counteract the trend. The key areas children were found to be lagging behind include speech, language and communication skills.

Parents Drastically Need Support

https://pixabay.com/en/users/cherylholt-209609/

Support at home is vital and is also lacking. Image credit: Pixabay

MPs within the Committee also said further support was needed to stabilise the relationship between children and their parents, who may suffer from addiction problems, or have financial woes.

“Quite simply I want this country to be the most supportive and caring place in the world that a child could be born into,” commented Doctor Paul Williams who led the Committee inquiry.

The request comes despite Education Secretary Justine Greening’s £1.3 billion spike in funding for schools in 2017.

Wenban-Smith surmised: “The current dreadful scourge of knifings reflects the impact on our young people of despair at lack of chances to develop a positive lifestyle. When the family/parent influence is weak and there are no other support systems, gang culture becomes the main focus of identity.”

Featured image: Pixabay

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About the Author

Adam Bloodworth

Freelance News Editor
Adam Bloodworth is a freelance journalist. His bylines can be found at iNews, Metro.co.uk, and PinkNews View all posts by Adam Bloodworth.
Early Years Childcare Failures Make Exclusions From School Inevitable
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