Barriers to Attendance

Child poverty has devastating impacts on children and societies. Addressing child poverty is a key feature of international agreements (e.g. Sustainable Development Goal 1), and was until recently a policy priority in the UK (e.g. the 2010 Child Poverty Act). Since the introduction of austerity measures in 2010, its prominence has decreased; the 2016 Welfare Reform and Work Act repealed the 2010 Child Poverty Act. Subsequently, forecasts from think tanks and academics (e.g. the Institute for Fiscal Studies) predict substantial increases in child poverty over the next few years. In this context, many local authorities are working to ameliorate child poverty’s impact to the best of their ability, but given the constraints of national policy and ever-decreasing budgets, it is difficult to identify those interventions most likely to make a difference to children’s and families’ lives.

This research aims to provide a comprehensive, transparent and Leeds-specific understanding of children’s experiences and priorities to deliver Leeds-specific solutions.  We will focus on barriers to school attendance resulting from the experience of poverty.  Mixed methods will be used to gather rich and representative data, which will generate solutions informed by children’s own assessments of their issues and needs.