Today, jointly with my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Schools, I am publishing the Government’s draft child poverty strategy 2014-17. We are seeking views through a public consultation, closing on 22 May 2014.
Our draft strategy builds on the good progress we have made so far in tackling child poverty. Despite the tough economic climate, employment has increased by 1.3 million since 2010 and the number of children in workless households has fallen by 274,000. Poor children are doing better than ever at school; the proportion of children on free school meals getting good GCSEs including English and maths has increased from 31% in 2010 to 38% in 2013.
Alongside our strategy, we are publishing an in-depth evidence review which identifies what leads families to be stuck in poverty and what leads poor children to become poor adults. By identifying and understanding the root causes of child poverty, now and across generations, we can target action effectively. This is an important step in our mission to eradicate child poverty.
Based on the evidence in the review, our strategy sets out the action Government are taking to tackle child poverty.
It sets out how we will tackle poverty now through supporting families into work and to increase their earnings, support living standards through decreasing costs for low-income families and prevent poor children becoming poor adults through raising their educational attainment.
However, central Government action cannot, by itself, end child poverty. Action is also needed by employers, the devolved Administrations, local areas and the voluntary and community sector. Today, we are asking for views on what more can be done and how we can all work together to end child poverty. Only by working together can we transform the lives of the poorest children in our society.