Child Poverty is Still Rife Despite Promises
The Labour Promise
In 1999, Prime Minister Tony Blair made a commitment to halve child poverty by 2010, and eliminate child poverty by 2020. After many years of being a neglected issue, child poverty was back on the political agenda. During the first decade of the millennium, Labour governments implemented a host of policies designed to tackle child poverty. From increases in existing benefits to new child-targeted assistance, investments in early years intervention to programmes to help lone parents into work, a wide range of actions increased incomes and provided tailored services to help families living in poverty.
The Conservative Manifesto 2010 Contained the promise;
In 2007, David Cameron committed his party to addressing child poverty, stating, “Ending child poverty is central to improving child well-being”. As a result of this cross-party consensus, the, “Child Poverty Act” was passed in 2010, committing both current and future governments to take action to eliminate child poverty.
“We will improve standards for all pupils and close the attainment gap between the richest and poorest. We will enhance the prestige and quality of the teaching profession, and give heads and teachers tough new powers of discipline. We will restore rigour to the curriculum and exam system and give every parent access to a good school. improving our school system is the most important thing we can do to make opportunity more equal and address our declining social mobility. but Britain is slipping down the world league tables in reading, maths and science, and violence in the classroom is a serious problem. We are falling behind other countries, and there is a growing gap between the richest and the poorest. We can’t go on like this, for the sake of the next generations.”
Poverty inquiry finds growing inequality in schools
The School-wear Association, the body representing independent retailers which claims to clothe three-quarters of Britain’s schoolchildren, suggests it costs about £80 to kit out a state secondary school pupil with one new uniform set.
A typical response;
“I don’t know which schools they have looked at but £80 didn’t even cover half of what my daughters high school specified, and it wasn’t in a wealthy area.
The blazer alone cost £39, I cant remember the cost of the rest. The blouse, and black trousers/skirt were the only items that could be generic, everything else had to be from named suppliers, including school sweatshirt, PE sweatshirt, PE T-shirt, PE tracksuit bottoms, tie, PE kit bag, even the PE socks had to be from the named supplier. Add school shoes, PE pumps, trainers for outside PE, two aprons (also specified supplier) for cookery and textiles. Contrast with when I was at school you could buy nearly ALL as generics, and even buy sew on logos for the blazers in some cases. Children may also be ashamed of not having everything they need, or bullied because of it, which will have a knock on effect on their confidence – and their education.
Families are turning to loan sharks and high credit lenders to ensure their children have suitable uniform and shoes and do not stand out as poor
Having just paid £350 for mandatory uniform and £200 for a bus pass, I can understand this. How does a low income family, struggling to pay rent, bills and food manage the cost? For an unemployed parent, it’s just not possible.