New Treasury funds target child poverty

21st July 2000 at 01:00
THE Government has backed its promise to eradicate child poverty within a generation through a raft of measures aimed at breaking the cycle of educational failure and unemployment.

But studies published by the Family Policy Studies Centre and the United Nations Children's Fund reveal a growing gulf between rich and poor families, calling into question the effectiveness of Labour's strategy.

This week's spending review earmarked more than pound;3 billion on measures to try to close the gap.

Early intervention, support for vulnerable children and measures to keep young people in education and training are all part of the plan which cuts across Government departments and makes the voluntary sector a key player.

Chancellor Gordon Brown said: "The war against child poverty requires not just additional cash but the support and encouragement of all forces of care and compassion in every community."

Children's charities welcomed the moves but the Child Poverty Action Group warned that the schemes alone would not solve child poverty.

A slow start has not undermined the Treasury's faith in the Sure Start programme. It ill be expanded to 500 schemes by 2004, reaching a third of the 820,000 under-fours living in poverty.

Each programme will have to deliver measurable improvements in health and the ability of children to learn.

A new Children's Fund, worth pound;450 million over three years, will finance local authority and voluntary sector networks for youngsters at risk of drug abuse, truancy, exclusion, unemployment and crime. Specialist schemes attached to schools to support children and families in difficulties are part of the plan.

The Connexions mentoring service for 13 to 19-year-olds will be expanded, co-ordinated with growing mental health, housing and drug services, including a new National Treatment Agency for addicts.

Mr Brown also announced a pound;380m programme for children between five and 13 to bridge the gap between Sure Start and Connexions. And local authorities in the poorest areas are set to receive pound;800m through the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund.

Increased opportunities in the arts and sport will be provided by a pound;485m funding increase the Treasury has allowed the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today