increasing numbers of children living in poverty in 2015/16 – the figure is now 4.3 million

THE SOCIAL Mobility Commission in its State of the Nation report 2021, published yesterday, has unveiled in detail the devastating impact of coronavirus on children.

The Commission stated: ‘Attainment gaps between disadvantaged and privileged children at school are already widening and young people from poorer backgrounds have been more likely to lose paid work than better off peers, it shows.
‘The government, employers and educators have to act now to rescue the next generation from decades of hardship and they should start by ending child
‘Almost one-in-three children (4.3 million) is now in child poverty, 700,000 more than 2012, the report reveals. The organisation argues that the poorest families and their children have suffered most during the last 18 months and should be helped first.’
The key recommendations of the report include:

  • End the two-child limit for Universal Credit so larger families are not penalised;
  • Raise Universal Credit child payments and child benefit by at least £10 per week per child;
  • Expand eligibility for entitlement for 30 hours free childcare per week to all families;
  • Extra funding for pupil premium to reflect long-term disadvantage;
  • A student pupil premium for disadvantaged 16-19 year olds;
  • Employability and life skills teaching mandatory at school end-of-year after GCSEs and A levels;
  • Affordable access to digital devices and networks by ring-fencing a portion of the digital infrastructure budget;
  • Tailor the apprenticeship levy more effectively for disadvantaged trainees;
  • Greater powers for metro mayors to address geographical inequalities;
  • Build three million social homes in the next 20 years;

• Draw up measures to track social mobility progress over the next 30 years.