Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Action for Children
Action for Children
Date of publication
1 January 2016
Social Policy, Families
Social welfare
Material type

This briefing suggests amendments to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, replacing the Child Poverty Act 2010, which removes the duty to meet UK-wide targets and reframes child poverty in relation to ‘life chances’. The authors note that Clause 4 of the Bill creates a statutory duty to publish an annual report on children in workless households and on the educational attainment of children in England at the end of Key Stage 4 (16 years old). They suggest that reporting on these limited measures is a missed opportunity as educational attainment at age 16 does not reflect how far development in the earliest months of children's lives affects their futures – from  health to likelihood of being employed. They argue that building stronger foundations can improve future generations’ prospects and that  a Life Chances Act must include developmental milestones throughout childhood.

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