Child Poverty Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 22nd October 2009.

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Dr. Ridge: There is general consensus, as Donald just said, across several particular areas. I should like to point to a couple where ever such a lot more could be done. One of them is school. You particularly mentioned the experience of free-school-meal children at school. One of the things that we have been very slow to approach and to try and address are children’s actual experiences within school as a social experience. There has been a lot of focus on literacy, numeracy, truancy and school exclusions, but the research on children that I have done and have reviewed for the child poverty unit, and that others have done as well, shows that the biggest problem for low-income and disadvantaged children in school is exclusion within school. By that I mean those social experiences of being unable to take part in the same way as other children. I believe that you have seen a video of children talking about their experiences—I could be wrong about that.