In 2010, the Liverpool City Region Cabinet endorsed the establishment of a Liverpool City Region Child Poverty and Life Chances Commission, chaired by Frank, to bring together leaders from the third, private and public sectors.
The Commission seeks a sustainable solution to child and family poverty, which addresses both income deprivation and broader child wellbeing.
Its primary role is to act as a conscience on matters relating to child poverty and life chances, and to commission activities that will enhance the work of local authorities.
Councils have a statutory duty to complete a local Child Poverty Strategy and this City Region approach is over and above this statutory responsibility. There is a further duty for specific named partners to co-operate in tackling child poverty in local areas, and this is partially delivered through the City Region level Commission.
The Commission published its Child Poverty and Life Chances strategy in 2011.
The Commission meets quarterly and is currently implementing the revised strategy that was published in 2016.
Its current priorities are to develop and extend examples of good practice that have improved disadvantaged children's life chances, including:
- Automatic registration of eligible children for free school meals
- Provision of free meals and fun for children during school holidays
- Mitigating the effects of welfare reform on families with children
- Helping women quit smoking during pregnancy
- Piloting a revolutionary set of school readiness indicators that can be used to shape interventions in the Foundation Years
The Department for Education has offered its support on the final point, informing the Commission that, "The recently
published primary assessment consultation seeks views on how we might improve
and refine the EYFSP to make it more robust and effective in measuring a child’s
development at the end of the Reception year. The department welcomes any
evidence to inform the consultation, including any learning as a result of the
pilot in Merseyside.”
More information can be found here