The Foundation Fund is designed to level the playing field in Bath and North East Somerset and give all children the same chances to live happy, healthy lives.
The fund targets children from pre-birth up until they start secondary school, providing them with the best opportunities to contribute to our communities for generations to come.
Our ambition is to use the Foundation Fund to significantly reduce the educational attainment gap (Key Stage 2) in BaNES by 2029. This gap is the single most striking measure of inequality, placing BaNES, in respect of its progress in reducing the gap, at close to the worst out of all local authorities in England. The causes of this gap are complex and relate as much to the support children receive for their behavioural and emotional development from pre-birth as that gained from formal education.
Narrowing the inequality gap will help prevent the broad range of complex social issues experienced by children from disadvantaged backgrounds. While equality of access to a good education is critical to reducing inequality, it is only part of the story. We will focus our support as much on addressing the physical, behavioural and emotional needs of children to ensure they are better prepared and ready to learn when they are in the classroom.
This new direction will see us hone our expertise in the provision of funding and become the initiators of major social change. St John’s aims to be an integral part of bringing about transformation in BaNES, acting as a focal point for diverse organisations to collaborate and support childhood development.
St John’s works with local stakeholders and national organisations to eradicate the need for emergency food provision in BaNES. It is well documented that children who do not have proper meals, particularly breakfast, will not perform as well as their peers at school. It is our ambition to support families, so they can provide substantial nutritious food every day for their loved ones.
In recent years there have been significant cuts to community places for parents and families of young children to receive support, connect with others and reduce isolation.
St John’s aims to readdress this and support local communities to develop their own hubs using the skills, resources and passion that exist in all our areas.
It is now widely recognised that it is as important for children to develop their emotional and behavioural skills as well as to learn to read, write, and count. From birth, this is about forming effective and emotionally supportive bonds with parents and close family, and as children age, with their peers and other adults that underlie their ability to learn.
St John’s aims to ensure all aspects of a child’s development is considered.
St John’s will ensure the most effective interventions and tools are available to children. By supporting childcare and educational settings as well as families we believe every child can leave primary school with the appropriate reading, writing, and numeracy skills.