School readiness

Is your child ready for school?

Did you know that in 2013 only 38 per cent of pre-school children were classed as being ready to go to school? This means that when around two thirds of children started school they didn’t have the necessary skills to enable them to learn and achieve, which could have delayed their educational progress and stopped them fulfilling their potential.

Harlow Strategic Partnership for Educational AttainmentAs a result Harlow Council, Essex County Council and other organisations under the banner of the Harlow Strategic Partnership for Educational Attainment have agreed to work together to help ensure Harlow children are ready for school; to help schools improve performance and to support young people to carry on learning after they leave school. The partnership has pledged “to work together to give every Harlow child every opportunity to fulfil their full potential.”

The Harlow School Readiness Project was developed and rolled out initially in three Harlow wards (Little Parndon, Potter Street and Staple Tye) and, following  success in those areas was later expanded town wide. 

Following introduction of the School Readiness Project the number of Harlow children judged as being ready for school increased to 59 per cent in 2014. In 2015 the figure increased again to 66 per cent and in 2016 to 71 per cent. The Harlow School Readiness Project Team continue to work closely with partner organisations, community and voluntary groups and families to ensure that all Harlow children get the best possible start in education.

Some school readiness tips are in our leaflets:

Reading with childTips for school readiness

  • Encourage your child to feed themselves with a knife, fork and spoon, and to drink from a cup without a lid. Try not to worry about spillages, instead allow your child to help clean it up.
  • Encourage your child to dress and undress by themselves – bath time is a perfect opportunity for this. 
  • Use dressing up clothes in play; children love to dress up and this is an ideal time to encourage independence. 
  • Lots of praise and encouragement makes children feel proud of what they have managed to achieve. Have confidence in your child’s ability to do things for themselves. 
  • Children learn through choosing, trying and doing things for themselves. If you always insist on doing it for them they will never have the opportunity to learn for themselves. 
  • Encourage your child to make choices. This can help to boost your child’s self-confidence and learn about the consequences of negative choices. 
  • Encourage your child to put on their own coat or shoes. Allow time for your child to do this task on their own and give lots of praise when it is achieved. 
  • Establish routines that allow additional time for your child to be involved in his or her own self-care. 
  • Encourage small steps that your child can complete, like putting on their skirt or trousers.

For more information contact Julie Cochrane on 01279 446365 or email

Harlow Education Partnership

The Harlow Education Partnership (HEP) aims to support schools and academies to improve standards of attainment and outcomes and, by 2017, seeks to have supported every primary and secondary school in Harlow to be judged by OFSTED as at least ‘Good’, with a significant proportion of them being judged as ‘Outstanding’. HEP is comprised of representatives of all key education related organisations in the town and some other related partners.

HEP also seeks to support strong and effective governance of Harlow schools by helping to recruit new Governors and has developed the Harlow Governors Recruitment Campaign. Individuals from private sector companies and non-educational public sector organisations could make a significant contribution to Governing Bodies and help improve and strengthen Harlow schools. Please see the links below for more information on the role and responsibilities of being a School Governor and on the commitment such a voluntary role requires: