The Every Child Included in Education manifesto, which outlines the priorities needed to make social mobility real for all children and their families and to improve the lives of disadvantaged, vulnerable and underachieving children and young people in England, has been launched today (Wednesday 21st March 2018) by education charity, Achievement for All, and a wide ranging coalition of supporters.

MPs, members from the House of Lords, policy makers, school leaders and decision makers from across education and social mobility came together this afternoon to hear the priorities being put forward to transform the education system for the better, including the eradication of exclusions, further investment across all phases of education and renewed emphasis on the role parents, carers and wider communities have to play in policy and practice.

The Every Child Included in Education campaign is backed by a wide range of organisations, schools and individuals including the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL), Academies Enterprise Trust, Best Practice Network, Enabling Enterprise, Fair Education Alliance, Teach First, Place2Be, British Science Association, CPDBee, The Good Schools Guide, Lord Lucas, Teacher Development Trust, Parentkind, NatSIP, The Earl of Listowel and The Nurture Group Network.

The campaigns seeks to deliver against five co-developed Every Child Included in Education priorities, including:

  1. Promote kindness and wellbeing in education, business and third sector settings. We need to address mental health, character and resilience through culture and mutuality, celebrating tolerance, patience, friendship, creatively and problem solving

  2. Further investment across all phases of education that should result in a socially and culturally relevant curriculum, increasing attainment in reading, writing and mathematics, enhancing life chances and culminating in a meaningful destination for every child

  3. Greater focus on teachers as professional learners through recruitment, retention and CPD that includes an enhanced understanding of the way disadvantaged and vulnerable children learn

  4. Reduce children and young people being excluded in education through cross-agency collaboration to minimise the number of children and young people at risk and to close the gap for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), too often the marginalised and forgotten group

  5. Increase recognition of parents, carers and wider communities as crucial partners in the improvement of learning and life chances for every child.

The manifesto follows the publication of Born to Fail? Social Mobility: A Working Class View, which argues that a radical re-think to the country’s approach to social mobility is needed to avoid millions of children continuing to be lost within the education system, impacting on their work and life chances.

Expanding on this, CEO of Achievement for All, and author of Born To Fail?, Professor Sonia Blandford, said: “Today’s education system is struggling for at least one in five children, their parents and carers, leaders, teachers and potential employers. We live in an increasingly complex and chaotic world that accepts failure and condones exclusion – a society in which 20% of children are underachieving, whether that’s due to poverty, disadvantage, SEND or other causes. This requires drastic improvement.

“The current system and its multiple layers are causing significant barriers to ensuring each and every child and young person is included in education – collaboration is the way to overcome this. The Every Child Included in Education campaign and manifesto is being supported by a wealth of expertise in education and social mobility across education, third sector and business. Importantly it draws on the experience of children, families and practitioners who are working to overcome inequality every day in a collective ambition to enhance life chances and provide choices for every child regardless of their background, challenge or need.”

Lord Jim Knight of Weymouth joins a host of individuals and organisations that are supporting the campaign. He said: “The launch of the Every Child Included in Education manifesto brings into sharp focus the vital importance of collaboration across education and politics and the need to remove stubborn barriers in the system that are leaving children and young behind.

“The 2017 Fair Education Alliance Report Card compiled by the Education Policy Institute indicated that children from low-income families continued to be over four times as likely as other children to be permanently excluded from school, amounting to a shocking 2,580 permanent exclusions. We have much work ahead of us to effectively include each and every child in education. I welcome the Every Child Included in Education campaign and its wide-ranging supporter base with some of the greatest minds in education coming together to make a difference.”

The two-year Every Child Included in Education campaign led by Achievement for All, which works in partnership with early years settings, schools and colleges to raise outcomes for children and young people who are vulnerable to underachievement, is collaborating with leaders from business, third sector, education (state and independent across all phases and type), Regional School Commissioners, Opportunity Area Boards, Teaching Schools Alliances and Research Schools as well as policy makers, commissioners, senior government officials, parents, carers, children and young people.

Over the coming months, the campaign will take forward its work plan to increase collaboration, support and training for all providers and services across the country. Further information can be found in the table below.

To view the Every Child Included in Education manifesto or to register your interest in supporting the campaign, please visit: https://afaeducation.org/media/1417/every-child-included-in-education-manifesto.pdf