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It’s hard to catch up when poverty holds you back

29 March 2022
Children have told us time and time again that poverty gets in the way of being able to make the most of learning and school life. And the data backs this up – children who live in homes with less money are less likely to do well at school.

Extra time to tackle child poverty in Welsh schools

15 December 2021
Last week, the Welsh education minister Jeremy Miles announced a £2 million programme to trial new approaches to the timing of the school day. In the two-year pilot, participating schools will provide learners with the opportunity to take part in music, art, sports, and other activities after core school hours, to build rich social and cultural knowledge. As well as supporting individual children’s health and wellbeing, the policy could also be a powerful way of addressing child poverty in the round.

A drop in the ocean: the need for investment in children at school

03 June 2021
Yesterday, the UK government announced the next phase of its Covid education recovery plan with £1.4 billion to be spent on tutoring pupils and training teachers in England. This falls far short of what’s really needed to ensure that – as the prime minister puts it – “no child is left behind”.

Educational outcomes without secure incomes

17 February 2021
Today, the departing Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, posed an important question in her final speech. She asked how the government can claim to be focused on educational catch-up on the one hand, while at the same time refusing to give families income security and risking more children being pushed into poverty. This is a crucial point. Poverty at home is the strongest statistical predictor of how well a child will do in school.

Learning after lockdown: school bells herald extra costs

03 September 2020
This week, schools in England will open their doors to their full school community for the first time in almost six months. We know that families with children have been hardest hit by the economic effects of the pandemic, with 2 in 5 facing financial difficulty, and that the lowest paid have been most badly affected. In this perfect storm of a difficult lockdown and worsening household finances, there needs to be much more focus on family income as children return to school.  

Unfinished business: where next for extended schools?

20 September 2016
It’s a public policy reform that has the potential to help the Government to solve two major policy headaches – improving access to affordable childcare for working parents and helping schools cut the attainment gap between richer and poorer children – but the number of extended schools remains inadequate.