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Equality of Opportunity: Children

Volume 687: debated on Wednesday 13 January 2021

What steps she is taking to help ensure equality of opportunity for children throughout the UK. (910494)

Spreading opportunity is a top priority across Government. That is why we are levelling up school standards, investing over £7.1 billion more in schools by 2022-23 than we did in 2019-20. We are committed to providing extra support for the education of disadvantaged children throughout the pandemic, including through our £350 million national tutoring programme; continuing to provide eligible children with free school lunches during term time; and securing over 1 million laptops and tablets, of which over half a million have already been delivered.

Coastal communities such as Lowestoft face particular challenges in improving social mobility. I would be most grateful if my hon. Friend outlined the co-ordinating action being taken to ensure that all Government Departments work together to ensure that children in seaside towns have every opportunity to realise their full potential.

Clearly, what we need to do for coastal communities—as we are doing, working with the Under-Secretary of State for Education, my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Vicky Ford)—is to make sure that childcare is available for every child. That is why we are, in particular, keeping early years open, and why the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is working to make sure that we protect jobs and create new job opportunities for those in coastal communities.