Whitehawk school wins praise from education minister

Posted On 19 Oct 2010 at 2:48 am

Whitehawk Primary School earned top marks from a government minister during a question time session in the House of Commons.

The Brighton school was held up as an example of how to join up support services for families in deprived areas.

Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP fort Brighton Kemptown, asked about the Department for Education’s plans to help families with multiple problems.

Junior Education Minister Tim Loughton, the Tory MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, said: “The government is committed to a new approach to supporting families with multiple problems.

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“My officials are working with the Association of Directors of Children’s Services and voluntary organisations to encourage local innovation to tackle barriers.

“Since April, family interventions have supported 4,725 families with multiple problems, already exceeding the 3,518 supported in the whole of last year.

“Ninety-three per cent of families completed or are still receiving support, and no fewer than 79 per cent left with successful outcomes.”

Mr Kirby, whose constituency includes Whitehawk, said: “I am sure the minister remembers visiting Whitehawk Primary Sschool in my constituency.

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“With reference to families with multiple problems, does he agree that dealing with these complex issues early can often save the state money in the long run?”

Mr Loughton replied: “My honourable friend makes a good point.

“I well remember my visit to Whitehawk Primary School, which has done a fantastic job in joining up support services for many of the families living in the deprived area around that part of Brighton.

“Independent evaluations show the considerable savings of such intervention programmes, which can cost on average from £8,000 to £20,000 per family, but which save around £50,000 per family and much more for those with particularly challenging problems.”

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