A report by the Children’s Commissioner for England estimated there could be more than 210,000 children without a permanent home in England, with thousands living in dangerous converted shipping containers. Child homelessness has surged by 80 per cent since 2010.
Government figures show that 30 per cent of children (over 4.1 million) across England are living in poverty. And this week, the education charity Teach First has warned that poorer pupils are significantly more likely to score low grades in their GCSEs than their richer peers, as teenagers from the most disadvantaged areas are nearly twice as likely not to pass their maths GCSE as the richest students.
At a visit to a kids’ lunch club in Wales, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said that “the next Labour government will take radical action to unlock the potential of every child”, by:
- Providing free school meals for all primary school children to end the stigma and ensure no child goes hungry at school;
- Building a million genuinely affordable homes, including the biggest council housing programme in a generation;
- Rolling out 30 hours of free childcare a week for all 2-4 year olds to give all our children the best possible start in life;
- Halting the closures of Sure Start centres and increase the amount of money available for Sure Start;
- Investing in our schools and reducing class sizes to less than 30 for all five, six and seven year-olds so children get the attention they deserve;
- Ending the public sector pay cap and introducing a Real Living Wage of at least £10 an hour to boost household income, as a record 2.9 million children from working families in the UK live in poverty;
- Ending the benefit freeze and stopping the rollout of Universal Credit which is pushing families into poverty;
- Replacing social mobility with social justice as a measure of government policy and a stated aim of government policies.
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said:
“Working class children are still being held back while their wealthy peers get ahead. The next Labour government will take radical action to unlock the potential of every child, not just a lucky few.
“The Tories are failing a whole generation of children.
“A child growing up in a shipping container or a B&B, or going to school hungry, cannot be expected to reach their full potential.
“The measure of our society is how we treat our most vulnerable. And who could be more vulnerable than a homeless child?
“We have a moral responsibility to end the scandal of child poverty and homelessness.”
Jill Borcherds, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Stevenage added
“With term about to start, schools advise parents to make sure that children have a quiet space at home to complete their homework and revision but inadequate, overcrowded housing can mean this is an impossibility.
Labour’s pledge to undertake the biggest council home building programme in a generation would not only improve children’s health and well-being but their education too.”