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Barnardo's statement on Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission report

Release Date: 17 Oct 2013

In response to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty (SMCP) Commission findings that the Government is set to miss its 2020 target to eradicate child poverty & that youth unemployment is at a twenty year high.

Jonathan Rallings Barnardo’s  Assistant Director of Policy and Research, comments:

“With progress on poverty so scandalously poor that 2.6 million children are still growing up beneath the breadline (1), it’s vital the government act now to make sure that disadvantaged young people can access the quality training and routes to skilled job opportunities they need to improve their life chances.

“Shockingly, some of the marginalised young people we work with tell us they have to skip lunch to study, because their hardship grant just doesn’t stretch to cover day-to-day costs (2). Others report that they had no one to turn to for face to face careers advice or guidance on the vocational courses available (3).

“The Government’s priority  must be to make sure that today’s disadvantaged young people don’t have to struggle tomorrow.  They can start by guaranteeing quality face-to-face careers guidance, good vocational training, and funding that covers the everyday expenses of study.”

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission in its first State of the Nation Annual Report finds that the legally-binding goal of ending child poverty by 2020 is likely to be missed by a considerable margin, and progress on social mobility may be undermined by the twin problems of high youth unemployment and falling living standards.

Notes to Editors

(1)     The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) HBAI figures 2011-2012 reveal that 2.6 million children (before housing costs) 3.8million (after housing costs) are now living in absolute poverty, defined as living in households where income is less than 60 per cent of median income in 2010/ 11.

(2)     Staying the Course, Dr Jane Evans, Barnardo’s 2012

(3)     Helping the Inbetweeners, Dr Jane Evans, Barnardo’s 2013

(4)    Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, State of the Nation

Barnardo’s works with more than 200,000 children, young people and their families each year.  Barnardo’s runs more than 900 services across the UK.

We believe in children and we believe every young person has a right to thrive. Our vision is to realise Thomas Barnardo’s dream of a world where no child is turned away from the help that they need.

We work to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and every year we help thousands of families to build a better future. But we cannot do it without you. Visit  to find out how you can get involved and show you believe in children.


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