Are all children ready for school in Swansea?

Photo credit: City & County of Swansea

Photo credit: City & County of Swansea

A new scrutiny panel is currently being set up that will look at children’s readiness for school in Swansea.  It will meet for the first time on the 11 October.  The issue was highlighted by Councillors as an important topic for review at the Scrutiny Work Planning Conference in May.   Some of the reasons Councillors will look at this issue include:

  • The quality of a child’s early experience is vital for their future success.  It is shaped by many interrelated factors, notably the effects of social-economic status, the impact of high quality early education and care, and the influence of good parenting.
  • The peak time for early year’s brain development is between 0 and 3 years old.  Health and educational attainment are both strongly linked to deprivation and the impact of deprivation can be seen across the social gradient in Swansea.
  • Gaps in achievement between the poorest children and their better-off counterparts are clearly established by the age of five. Too many children lack a firm grounding in the key skills of communication, language, literacy and mathematics.
  • By the age of three, poorer children are estimated to be, on average, nine months behind children from more wealthy backgrounds. Child Poverty Action Group

What will happen at the meeting on the 11 October?

The Panel will speak to Councillor Mark Child the Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Health City in Swansea along with Sian Bingham the Prevention and Early Intervention Strategic Manager.  They will provide the panel with an overview of the subject and then answer any questions the panel may have.

What will be the key lines of inquiry for this piece of work?

The Panel will then discuss and agree the key lines of inquiry for this piece of work some of these may include for example:

  • What is meant by improving children readiness for school in practice? What is involved in developing children’s readiness for school including for example: self-care, literacy, language and socialisation.
  • Cause and effect: What is the effect of children’s readiness for school on their longer-term educational performance? What are the reasons for children not being ready for school? Should there be a baseline that defines school readiness?
  • Partners/professional relationships: Who is involved in improving children’s readiness for school in Swansea and do they work together effectively to achieve this aim?
  • Working with families: How are we and our partners are working with families to help improve children in Swansea’s readiness for School?
  • Impact: What has been the impact of those initiatives that help development readiness for school?
  • Good Practice: What guidance and examples of good practice in improving readiness for school are available

Councillors will then decide who they would like to speak to, this will particularly include those people who are impacted by this service.

If you would like to attend this meeting to observe or would like more information about scrutiny more generally you can visit our website or contact us at

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