Government affirms commitment to life chances strategy

By Jess Brown

| 22 July 2016

The government has said it is committed to pursuing efforts to improve the chances of disadvantaged children after it was confirmed that its life chances strategy will not be published until September at the earliest.

The government has said its life chances strategy will be published "in due course". Picture: Lucie Carlier

Following the House of Commons entering its summer recess yesterday, a spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions told CYP Now that Theresa May's government remains committed to the strategy and it "will be published in due course" once MPs return in September.

The spokeswoman said: "We are committed to creating a Britain that works for everyone, not just the privileged few, and we'll only do this by tackling the root causes of poverty.

"That means taking action on education, worklessness and family breakdown - and that is exactly what we are doing, taking a whole life cycle approach."

The intention to implement a strategy to improve life chances was first announced by then Prime Minister David Cameron in January.

CYP Now reported last month that the government had intended to unveil the strategy in June, but postponed publication after the EU referendum vote prompted the resignation of David Cameron as Prime Minister.

Cameron had originally intended for it to be published in the spring.

The strategy is due to feature measures designed to address child poverty, including a plan to significantly expand parenting provision, and potentially introduce a voucher scheme for parenting classes.

The government also said the strategy would contain future policy on children's centres.

Denise Burke, chair of Poppy and Jacks nursery group, said: "Delaying publishing the strategy is yet again another blow for our most vulnerable families and leaves local authorities and other agencies in limbo.

"Conceiving the idea of a life chances strategy is all very laudable but the strategy has to be meaningful and give hope to those it is trying to help."

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said it is "disappointing, but not surprising" that the strategy has been delayed.

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