How can we measure and keep track

A Fairer Start

Improving school readiness in Stockton-on-Tees

A Fairer Start (AFS) was a 3 year pilot initiative implemented in Stockton Town Centre and funded jointly by Stockton Borough Council Public Health and Hartlepool & Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group. The programme was managed by Catalyst Stockton (a local Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise infrastructure organisation) from 2015 – 2018.

The programme aimed to improve the school readiness of children living in Stockton-on-Tees Town centre ward by improving their health and well-being in the long-term and reduce health inequalities.  Less than 50% of children achieve good levels of school readiness (Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Stockton 2016).  The area has high levels of Children in Need and Looked After Children, high levels of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse and one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the UK.   

The project developed an early intervention and prevention project for children aged 0-3, which included mapping the existing services and community assets, improving joined-up working between them, and developing better assessment methods.  The active involvement of the local communities, including different ethnic groups, was identified as crucial in both the design and implementation of the project and community champions were recruited and trained to facilitate this process.   

AskFuse was initially approached by the partnership organisations requesting help to conduct a rapid literature review.

However, Askfuse helped the partnership to add value and impact to their proposal by scaling up to a full process and impact evaluation, which also included a literature review.  AskFuse also helped identify additional resources for the evaluation.    

This evaluation, supported by AskFuse, resulted in:

  • AskFuse negotiating additional funding from Teesside University to support a  PhD student to conduct the evaluation, thereby increasing the research capacity and capability in the region
  • Collaboration between public health practitioners, social care practitioners,  and Fuse researchers from two universities to deliver the evaluation
  • A final report delivered to the AFS team in March 2018.

The evaluation added to new knowledge by increasing the scope of the enquiry from a literature review to full-scale project evaluation, with dedicated resources.

For more information, please contact:
AskFuse manager: Peter van der Graaf
Phone: 01642 342757

Last modified: Wed, 24 Mar 2021 10:21:33 GMT