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Helping Children in Basildon get the best start in life

New Generations

Driven by an ambition to improve children’s life chances and to give them the best start in life, Essex County Council, Basildon Borough Council, Essex Police and the University of Essex have shared data through the Essex Data Programme to predict the communities in Basildon where children are most at risk of not being ‘school ready’.

‘School readiness’ describes a set of criteria that includes factors such as speech, language, social interaction, and toileting, and is used to determine if a child is able to get the best out of school when they start in reception at age five.

Existing data told us that in 2013 around 50 per cent of five year olds in Basildon were not ready to go to school. This is important because Ofsted reports that few children who start school behind are able to catch up before they leave full time education at age 18.

Using school readiness as a measure enabled us to gain more detailed information about children in Basildon who may need our support in future so that we can get in early, and design services that prevent issues from arising.

Focusing on Vange an area in Basildon that was identified as one of the high risk communities during the data analysis - with one in four children in Vange currently not school ready - we combined data on Social Care, School Readiness, Youth Offending and Drugs and Alcohol from ECC, with Housing and Benefits data from Basildon District Council and crime data from Essex Police. None of the information that was shared identified a specific person. Personal information was replaced with codes so that individuals couldn't be identified.

We shared data to find out why children in Vange are not school ready and to determine how we could help early on. We also asked parents in Vange what it was like to raise their children there.

The data was matched with the community’s experience and gave us a full picture so that we are now better equipped to make decisions that strengthen the services available in the area to give children the best start in life in Vange, in turn improving their longer term outcomes in to adulthood and preventing service demand later on.  

We're currently working together with the community in Vange to co-design services that will give children everything they need to thrive. You can download the New Generations leaflet here.