Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has announced a new child poverty measure which will include pupil achievement at the age of 16.
Delivering a statement to the House of Commons, Mr Duncan Smith said that he did not believe current definitions of child poverty did enough “to focus government on children’s future life chances or to recognise the role education plays”.
Passed in 2010, the current Child Poverty Act focuses on relative family income as a defining poverty marker. Mr Duncan Smith said this led to perverse situations, such as pension increases inevitably leading to more children labelled as being in poverty.
The Department for Work and Pensions website states that the new legislation to replace the Child Poverty Act 2010 will use:
– the proportion of children living in workless household as well as long-term workless households
– the educational attainment of all pupils and the most disadvantaged pupils at age 16
It also states that the government develop a range of other measures including family breakdown and debt. These will be set out in a “children’s life chances strategy”.
Schools Week have approached the DWP for further details.