Professor Sir Michael Marmot, who last year chaired the Strategic Review of Health Inequalities, which drew on evidence from all three birth cohort studies, has published indicators at local authority level showing marked differences in children’s development between rich and poor areas of England.
His indicators show that 44% of all five-year-olds in England are considered by their teachers to be falling behind in their development. However in richer commuter towns, such as Solihull and Richmond upon Thames, state schools report this figure to be about 30%. In Haringey, a deprived part of north London, it is almost double.
Professor Marmot, who is a public health specialist, said: “The evidence is very clear: investing in pre-school years pays most dividends. We already know that by the age of 10 a child from a poorer background will have lost any advantage of intelligence indicated at 22 months, whereas a child from an affluent family will have improved his or her cognitive scores purely because of his/her advantaged background.”
MARMOT, M. (2011) Marmot Indicators for Local Authorities in England, London Health Observatory, February 2011.
MARMOT, M. (2010) Fair Society, Healthy Lives. Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in Britain Post-2010. London: The Marmot Review