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DfE to test digital services to support disadvantaged children


The Department for Education (DfE) is preparing a pilot project on the use of digital products and services to support children from disadvantaged families.

It is leading the Growing Up Well initiative over three years up to 2023 supported by £11.8 million from HM Treasury’s Shared Outcomes Fund.

Vicky Ford MP, the DfE minister for children and families, said in response to a parliamentary question that the project will involve identifying and testing data and digital innovations aimed at improving outcomes for children aged up to five from disadvantaged and vulnerable families.

She said it is “currently in its mobilisation phase” with plans to commission a process and impact evaluation, which will feed into future policy development.

“The project will focus on improving the family user experience of early years services; improving local level professional collaboration and planning around the family and child; and greater alignment of early years objectives and funding across government,” Ford said.

While few details have been made public, it is understood that the project will focus on using data and digital to improve features of children’s lives such as language skills and health.

The DfE is receiving input into the project from the Department for Health and Social Care, the Department for Work and Pension, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and the Cabinet Office.

Image by Richard Townshend, CC BY 3.0


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