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UK’s major children’s charities respond to Levelling Up White Paper

Save the Children

2 min read Partner content

Save the Children, The Children’s Society, Barnardo’s, Action for Children and the National Children’s Bureau have released a joint statement in response to the Government's Levelling Up White Paper released today:

“The white paper provides a rare opportunity to reset Government strategy and investment to enable children and families to thrive and communities to flourish. We are therefore pleased to see a focus on education, including a plan to increase literacy levels of primary school children, and on community pride.

It is disappointing though that the 12 key missions do not include tackling child poverty or investment in the early years, nor does its focus on wellbeing and health inequalities include specific measures for children. Levelling up cannot succeed while families experience rising poverty, debt, homelessness and hunger. We also know that the first few years of a child’s life are crucial and addressing children’s learning and development in the early years is one of the best ways to prevent the impact of poverty on children and into adulthood.

The ultimate test of levelling up as a strategy is not just whether it can spread opportunities fairly throughout the country, but whether it can tackle the underlying issues that persistently deny children fair access to these opportunities. The Secretary of State has said that child poverty is a scar that needs to be healed. We look forward to working closely with him to strengthen this vision to ensure children are at the heart of this plan.”

Dan Paskins, Director of UK Impact, Save the Children UK

Mark Russell, CEO, The Children’s Society

Lynn Perry and Michelle Lee-Izu, Co-CEOs, Barnardo’s

Imran Hussain, Director of Policy, Action for Children

Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau and Chair of End Child Poverty

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