Thank you for contacting me about Action for Children's Choose Childhood report.
I want to reassure you that wide-ranging action is being taken ensure that all children, regardless of their background, receive the best possible start in life.
Indeed, I am pleased that the educational attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and other pupils, as measured by the disadvantage gap index, is narrowing. The gap has narrowed by around 13 per cent at key stage 2 and 9.5 per cent at key stage 4 since 2011.
An additional £410 million is being invested this year across children's and adult social care to ensure the right support is in place. Over the next 5 years, Ministers will also be investing £84 million to improve children's services across local authorities, especially with regard to early intervention.
Important steps are also being taken to improve young people's mental health support. By 2023-24 an extra 345,000 children and young people in England aged up to 25 will receive support via NHS-funded mental health services, including new Mental Health Support Teams based in and around schools and colleges.
In addition, from September 2020, Relationships Education at primary school, Relationships and Sex Education at secondary school, and Health Education at both primary and secondary schools, will become compulsory. These subjects will ensure children and young people have the knowledge and support they need to form healthy relationships, lead healthy lives and be safe and happy in the modern world.
More broadly, the Prime Minister has announced an extra £700 million of high needs school funding for 2020-21, to ensure all children can receive a high-quality education and reach their potential. The Government is also continuing to protect the pupil premium, worth more than £2.4 billion in 2019-20, to support those who need it.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.