25 Jun 2014

Statement on Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s announcement on the government's consultation introducing the new early years Pupil Premium.

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'The government’s decision to extend the Pupil Premium from school age children to include three and four year olds is a welcome step forward. But it does not go far enough. Yet again, millions of families on low wages struggling to make ends meet will miss out because they are not included in these proposals.

'It is crucial the Pupil Premium is given to all families in poverty, whether they are in or out of work. All children must be given the best start in life to make sure they achieve their full potential.

'Today’s announcement comes at a time when funding for children’s services is being slashed. The government needs to commit to protecting funding for early years services to make sure the youngest children can get the help they need.'

Ends

Media enquiries:

For more information, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors:

  • Six in 10 children living in poverty are in low-income working families.
  • As the plans currently stand, children in families where a single parent works 16 or more hours a week or couples are working more than 24 hours a week will not be eligible for the Pupil Premium even if they are in poverty.
  • The Children’s Society is supporting the first-ever Children’s Commission on Poverty. The commissioners want the government to draw on children’s actual experience – and not just the statistics -- when developing measures to tackle child poverty. The Children’s Commission on Poverty is being supported by The Children’s Society and led by a panel of 16 children and teenagers from across England, ranging in age from 12 to 19. They are leading an 18-month investigation into child poverty in the UK. It provides a crucial platform for children to speak out about what poverty is really like and reveal, through their own eyes, the day-to-day challenges they face and what needs to be done.
  • The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life. Someone who acts on their behalf and can help guide them through the extremely complex system. These children deserve to be kept safe so they can recover from the trauma they have suffered and rebuild their lives.