London Child Poverty Commission Action Plan for London 1. Employment and skills Joint Lead Commissioners: Phillipa Langton (LSC) and Nick Drane (JCP London) Lead Officers: Dianna Neal, Catherine Ford, Helen Johnston, Fern Edwards, London Councils Doreen Kenny GLA 1.1 Ministerial focus on reducing child poverty The lack of progress on child poverty in London since 2000 contrasts with significant improvements in educational outcomes in deprived boroughs over the same period. While national increases in education expenditure have played an important role in improving standards, this was also a period when there was intense policy focus on education in London on the part of central government, including ministerial responsibility for schools in London. Similar levels of commitment are needed if child poverty in London is to be reduced, with clear objectives and accountabilities. Final Report Recommendation 1. Government should set explicit objectives to reduce child poverty in London, with ministerial responsibility for delivery. Action so far Stephen Timms and Beverley Hughes appointed to lead on child poverty in London Explicit target for London: Government Child Poverty Unit consulting on target. London Councils, GLA and LDA officers attending meetings. Next steps/ suggestions Assess outcome after next meeting on 31 July and refer back to Commission if necessary. 1.2 Reviewing targets and resources for Jobcentre Plus in London Employment rates for mothers have remained broadly static in London since 2000, although there are some signs of improvement in lone parent employment since 2004. Parental employment needs to increase faster in London than in the rest of the UK if the 2020 child poverty target is to be met. At present, the Jobcentre Plus performance regime is set to deliver the opposite for lone parents – a job entry rate about half those in 03/12/2011. other regions. Over time, Jobcentre Plus in London needs to move to higher job outcome requirements for all parents in London, with resources to match. Final Report Recommendation 2 The Jobcentre Plus performance regime should be overhauled to deliver the rates of parental job entry in London required to make serious inroads into child poverty, and resources should be reallocated to match new targets. Action so far Discussion at CPU target setting meetings around potential to improve monitoring. Next steps/suggestions London Councils/GLA Officers to meet before end of July to discuss options and action plan. 1.3 Lone parents and part-time working Low employment of lone parents in London is partly driven by low rates of part-time working which reflect distinctive labour and childcare market factors in the capital. While enabling more lone parents to work longer hours can play an important role in improving incomes and job sustainability, it is crucial that the new changes to Job Seeker‟s Allowance for lone parents do not force lone parents into accepting unsuitable job offers but allow them to work around the needs of their children. Strong preferences for part- time over full-time working are expressed not only by non-employed lone parents in London but by lone parents who are already working full-time. The outcomes from US welfare reform have shown negative impacts on child outcomes where lone parents are forced into full-time work. Final Report Recommendation 3 The availability of part-time employment needs to be taken into account in the new regime of compulsion for lone parents, and we would welcome a clear commitment from government that lone parents will not be obliged to accept a job demanding more than 16 hours work a week. Action so far CPU report lone parents won‟t be required to work more than 16 hours. Next steps/suggestions Ministerial Working Group Work with LSC, LDA to deliver on skills for jobs and childcare for JCP clients, especially lone parents 1.4 A new deal for families in London Chapter 5 (of Capital Gains) identified the challenge of improving job sustainability and advancement for lower income parents in London. An employment service fully oriented to the needs of families, as proposed in Lisa Harker‟s report to the Department for Work and Pensions „Delivering on child poverty‟ will require engagement from all partners, not just 03/12/2011. Jobcentre Plus, in delivering a step change in long-term prospects. The need for a comprehensive service is particularly pressing in London. While the East London City Strategy Pathfinder has made welcome moves towards developing a new deal for families, efforts need to be coordinated across London. Final Report Recommendation 4 We recommend that the London Skills and Employment Board uses its influence to bring together the Learning and Skills Council, Jobcentre Plus, London Councils, Greater London Authority, South East Region of the TUC, employers, the London Development Agency (LDA) and government departments to deliver the following priorities: i. All parents, regardless of benefit status, should receive high quality careers and training advice and be made fully aware of the array of training opportunities available to them. ii. Clear and consistent entitlements to free childcare for non-employed parents undertaking training and job search, as piloted by the LDA and Department for Children, Schools and Families in some areas in London. iii. High quality extended schools provision accessible to lower income families to make the longer working hours associated with higher quality jobs more practical, while delivering genuine improvements in educational outcomes and engagement. iv. A cultural shift around flexibility in the workplace, backed up by measures to ensure that in-work training is equally accessible to those working shorter hours. Action so far Meeting with LSEB ii Childcare: Budget 08: piloting free childcare for additional earners; commitment re extension of Childcare Affordability Programme (CAP) London Councils met with DCSF to confirm local government representation at CAP steering group DCSF agreed to attend ALDCS steering group in September In principle commitment of New Mayor to CAP iii London Councils and GLA‟ s DMAG are analysing pupil level data to identify better ways of allocating resources to children living in poverty and so influence the review of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) and allocations to extended schools services. Aim is that supportive data/analysis makes case for funding outside of DSG that gives LAs/schools capacity to target activity to vulnerable/low income children (eg childcare, out of school activities) and in critical age group, 8-13 (ie much investment in early years and adolescents). Also need to make links with: (1) Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People's Services – Narrowing the Gap work (2) City Challenge (3) health. Capital Ambition should be approached. 03/12/2011. iv KPMG Business breakfast (2nd June 2008) Next steps/suggestions Follow up with LSEB (iv) follow up with Business in the Community and the East London Business Alliance (ELBA) Develop relationships with SMEs (iii) Extended schools: The analysis which hopes to influence the review of the Designated Schools Grant and allocations to extended schools servicesis underway but the research has not yet been completed owing to inability to recruit a dedicated researcher. Also need to make links with Narrowing the Gap and City Challenge. 1.5 Promoting equality in employment - role of employers The Commission endorses the view of the London Skills and Employment Board that in order to encourage greater employer engagement, the array of pledges and accords available in London need to be integrated and consolidated. However, the Commission also believes that implicit within these arrangements should be the recommendations of the National Employment Panel‟s Business Commission into Race Equality in the Workplace. The Commission believes that these recommendations have the potential to make a significant impact on child poverty. In order to maximise the impact of these proposals, particularly for young people and parents returning to employment, we recommend the promotion of measures to tackle direct and indirect discrimination, covering such issues as flexible working, sick leave entitlement, accommodation of religious requirements, qualifications and experience requirements in recruitment and access to in-work training, as well as the National Employment Panel‟s findings. Final Report Recommendation 5 We recommend that through its London Employment Programme, the London Skills and Employment Board promotes measures for London‟s employers which tackle direct and indirect discrimination, including access to flexible working and greater access to in- work training for those working shorter hours. Action so far LCPC discussion with LSEB 17/06/08 Next steps/suggestions Make links with ELBA and Business in the community - link with Stephen Evans. Meeting with KPMG to explore options 17/07/08 03/12/2011. 1.6 Advancement London offers a rapid „up-escalator‟ for those who arrive in the capital with recognised skills and qualifications, often leading to rapid career advancement and to moves out of London. But job entry, retention and access to the up-escalator are limited by factors which have little to do with individuals‟ abilities. Some of this inequality can be addressed through anti-discrimination measures, such as those proposed in recommendation 5 above, but for some groups, including first generation migrants, additional action is necessary. Even with good qualifications, when migrants from developing countries move out of the lowest paying sectors of the labour market they still tend to remain low-paid. It is important that early experience of what can be marginalised labour market positions does not translate into continuing low earnings across the lifecycle, as developing country migrants are more likely to be supporting families than migrants from richer countries. This is not simply a matter of „upskilling‟ because in many cases, the skills are already there. This reinforces the importance of ensuring that a careers service is built into integrated employment support services such as those offered by the London City Strategy pathfinders, and the need for employers to think beyond „entry-level‟ jobs when engaging with public agencies to improve employment outcomes. Final Report Recommendation 6 We recommend that the London Skills and Employment Board, employers and trade unions work together to develop appropriate models of career advancement for workers in marginal positions, targeting in particular lone parents, parents in couples and first generation migrants in low paying sectors. Action so far Next steps Influence LDA led Careers Service Links with TUC/Unions 03/12/2011. 2. Mental health and employment Lead Commissioner: Brendan McLaughlin (London Development Centre) Lead Officers: Mark Brangwyn, Ian Jones, London Councils, Charlotte Hall, GLA 2.1 Parents with mental health problems London has higher rates of mental health problems than nationally with an estimated 60,000 London parents receiving incapacity benefit because of mental health or behavioural disorders. Despite changes to the legislative framework associated with the Disability Discrimination Act, people with mental health problems continue to face prejudice within the jobs market. Parents may lose employment as a result of developing mental health problems and workless parents with histories of mental ill health may find employers reluctant to take them on. It is also now widely recognised that there is a significant lack of access to psychological therapies for people with mental health problems. Poverty reduction is good for mental health, with significant reductions in self-reported illness following measures to raise lone parents‟ incomes. But mental health problems, particularly anxiety and depression, affect a significant minority of low income families and this needs to be factored into efforts to raise parental employment and – in particular - improve the sustainability of employment. Better access to psychological therapies will be an important element in a new deal for families. Final Report Recommendations 7 To support an integrated New Deal for Families we recommend Jobcentre Plus, NHS London, the London Development Centre and Care Services Improvement Partnership, and local authorities should work together on developing more integrated support services able to meet the range of needs of parents with mental health problems including: • accessing jobs and training • help with sustaining employment, working with both individual parents and their employers • advice and advocacy in relation to the benefits system and • better access to talking therapies. 8 We recommend that Jobcentre Plus should work with employers through the local employment partnerships to raise awareness and understanding of mental health issues and promote best practice in sustaining employment for people with mental health Action so far NHS London and London Development Centre has set up steering group and reference groups for the pilot “talking therapies” including JCP and London Councils to support commissioning of services and implementation of the 03/12/2011. programme. Meeting between London Councils and JCP to discuss increasing mental health and employment provision. Next steps/suggestions Generate links between local authorities and pathways to work providers and provide actions to implement take up of services as necessary. Training scheme for introduction of new Employment Support Allowance (JCP) 03/12/2011. 3. Tax and benefits Joint Lead Commissioners: Paul Gregg (University of Bristol) and Declan Gaffney (Independent Commissioner) Lead Officers: Ian Jones, London Councils, Doreen Kenny, GLA 3.1 National increases to child tax credit and child benefit Income transfers which target both working and non-working families through child tax credit or child benefit are effective in reducing child poverty in London. Modelling of future options shows that increases in these elements would reduce child poverty somewhat more in London than at national level, especially if there was some targeting on larger families. Redistributive measures alone within plausible ranges of expenditure could reduce child poverty by 9.2 percentage points to a level of 31% in London and by 7.2 percentage points nationally by 2010/2011. This does not take account of any employment effect that might arise from improved work incentives. The specific measures modelled for the Commission are: • child tax credit to increase by £9 a week (taking account of the increase in budget 2007) and • child benefit for second and subsequent children to rise to the level for the first child. Final Report Recommendation 9 We recommend that in order to meet the 2010 child poverty target nationally while making inroads into child poverty in London, government should adopt a package of national measures based on significant increases in child tax credit and in child benefit for second and subsequent children. Action so far Budget changes in child benefit and child tax credit Next steps/suggestions Assess impact of budget changes on child poverty. Lobby to get into PBR (GLA and London Councils lead) 3.2 Improving work incentives through tax credits Higher costs mean that wages go less far in London. Many part-time service jobs pay lower wages in real terms than the rest of the UK and offer no prospects, making it more likely that parents will return to benefits. Housing costs mean that families in London are more likely to face multiple withdrawal of benefits and tax credits, leading to severe poverty traps. In order to bring work incentives in London in line with the rest of the UK, reforms are essential to reduce the poverty trap faced by families in the capital. Final Report Recommendation 10 We recommend that government should introduce a top-up to tax credits in London of £20 a week for families with an additional £5 per child top-up to child tax credit in order to improve work incentives and address the effect of higher housing costs in London. 03/12/2011. Action so far Budget changes in child benefit and child tax credit Next steps/suggestions Assess impact of budget changes on child poverty. Lobby to get into PBR (GLA and London Councils lead) 3.3 Stability in housing benefit Low awareness of in-work housing benefit is a major problem in London and nationally. In addition, the risk of administrative delays or errors when housing benefit is re- calculated adds another barrier to taking a job. Final Report Recommendation 11 We recommend that housing benefit awards should be fixed for six months for all claimants who have been on housing benefit for over a year and are moving into paid employment. Over time, housing benefit should be fully integrated with tax credits as a housing credit, with separate adult and child entitlements as with working tax credit/child tax credit. Action so far Budget 08 announced fundamental review of HB Paper prepared by London Councils making the case for HB run-on; initial discussions with DWP and other LA Associations held, with initial positive results. Next steps/suggestions Feed in proposals as part of Government‟s internal review of HB during autumn 2008. 3.4 Financial support for childcare Support for childcare through the working tax credit is unnecessarily complicated - it is not transparent for parents and does not allow them to calculate their childcare costs. This is more of a problem in London, both because costs are higher and because fewer parents can rely on informal childcare from relatives. A move towards an income-based approach to childcare support entitlement would also create the opportunity to deliver the support through an entitlement „smart card‟. Final Report Recommendation 12 We recommend that the childcare element of working tax credit should be replaced with a family income based entitlement to financial support for childcare. Action so far Budget 08: Announcement of roll-out of Childcare Affordability Programme Next steps/suggestions LCPC response to Treasury consultation on tax credit reform? 03/12/2011. 3.5 Positive incentives for local authorities At present, local authorities are not properly resourced to meet the costs of dealing with housing benefit claimants changing their circumstances. Local authorities could play a key role in spreading awareness of in-work entitlements such as housing benefit and tax credits. Final Report Recommendation 13 We recommend that local authorities should be incentivised to actively market in- work housing benefit, childcare support and other financial support for families in work to enable more parents to make the move into a paid job. Action so far Now focus of sub-group of the Ministerial Working Group on child poverty in London. Papers being prepared by London Councils and East London CSP on this issue for meeting on 29 July 2008. Next steps Make recommendations to Government through Ministerial Steering Group. Feed in proposals as part of Government‟s internal review of HB during autumn 2008. 3.6 Savings Parents moving out of long-term benefit receipt need to be able to make decisions for the longer term, but poverty itself undermines the possibility of taking a longer view. Savings are a key „protective‟ factor in reducing the chances of lone parents returning to benefits. Final Report Recommendation 14 We recommend that the government pilots a savings scheme specifically targeting parents moving into employment in London, bringing together lessons from the Saving Gateway and employment retention schemes (Employment Retention and Advancement and in-work credit). Action so far Budget 08: Roll out announced of Saving Gateway. . Next step/suggestions London Councils researching roll-out and its relation to employment retention schemes. 03/12/2011. 4. Other Income and Cost Issues (including Transport) Lead Commissioners: Alex Bax, GLA Lead Officers: Muge Dindjer, Doreen Kenny, GLA 4.1 A minimum wage for London? The real value of the minimum wage is lower in London than at national level. This is a London-specific problem reflecting the high cost of living in the capital: there is much less variation in price levels between other regions. While a London minimum wage would have little direct effect on child poverty, it would improve the employment chances of lower skilled workers, particularly those with dependent children, not just by raising incomes directly but also by improving incentives on employers to offer longer term sustainable jobs. The lowest paid sectors of the London labour market are now effectively detached from the rest of the market, dependent on high employee turnover and offering little in the way of sustainable opportunities or routes to advancement. We therefore believe that the case for a London-specific minimum wage needs to be taken seriously. Final Report Recommendation 15 We recommend that the Low Pay Commission considers the case for a London minimum wage, on the same basis as the national minimum wage. Action so far New Mayor has continued and updated London Living Wage Next steps/suggestions Seek dialogue with Low Pay Commission. Involve TUC and Unions 4.2 Fares concessions for lower income workers Public transport fares are a fixed cost which can act as a barrier to employment for lower income groups. This is a particular issue in London where more lower income workers have to commute long distances. Part-time workers, who tend to be amongst the lowest paid, face spending a higher proportion of their incomes on travel, unless they can take advantage of off-peak fares. Final Report Recommendation 16 We recommend that Transport for London, working with other agencies, explore options for fare concessions to reduce in-work costs for lower income parents, particularly those working part-time. Action so far TfL looking at options for lower-income workers, within context of cost and fares issues. Next steps/suggestions 03/12/2011. 5. Child development and education Lead Commissioner: Patrick Leeson (Chair, Association of London Directors of Children's Services) Lead Officers: Helen Johnston, London Councils, Caroline Boswell, GLA Childcare: Fern Edwards, London Councils and Doreen Kenny, GLA 5.1 Childcare subsidy As well as recommendation 12 on demand-side funding, supply-side funding is needed to ensure provision of flexible care and to reduce the cost of provision for children with special educational needs. The London Childcare Affordability Programme set up by the Mayor of London and the Department for Children Schools and Families has demonstrated clearly that there is significant unmet need for these kinds of provision. Final Report Recommendation 17 We recommend that the flexibility and special educational needs elements of the London Development Agency/Department for Children Schools and Families Childcare Affordability Programme be continued and rolled out more widely Action so far Budget 08: commitment re extension of Childcare Affordability Programme (CAP) from April 2009. London Councils met with DCSF to confirm local government representation at CAP steering group DCSF agreed to attend ALDCS steering group in September In principle commitment of New Mayor to CAP Next steps/suggestions Seek clarification about future objectives for CAP 5.2 Extended schools While there have been significant improvements in attainment levels in London primary and secondary schools, massive inequalities associated with parents‟ economic status remain. The developing extended schools agenda is potentially an area where (like Sure Start) educational and child development aims converge with employment related childcare needs. This reinforces the need for high quality provision to be targeted at those areas where it will achieve the most. Final Report Recommendation 18 We recommend that central government, the Mayor of London and London Councils develop options to increase funding to extended schools serving more deprived areas in London, specifically aiming to attract highly qualified staff. Additional Recommendation not included in Final Report That government pilot a dedicated funding stream to be allocated to secondary schools on the basis of area deprivation of intake pupils‟ home postcode, to be used to improve attainment progress and engagement between entry to secondary school and Key Stage 3. 03/12/2011. Action so far See actions under 4 iii. Next steps/suggestions See actions under 4 iii. Meet with DCSF and City Challenge, ideally with the findings of the DMAG research (as per 4 iii). 5.3 Measuring low attainment Focusing solely on measures of average attainment risks leaving behind potentially low achievers if schools concentrate efforts on borderline pupils. There is evidence that London pupils are doing worse in terms of low achievement than average figures would suggest and than the population mix would lead to expect. Final Report Recommendation 19 We recommend that government expand the range of targets for GCSE attainment to include at least one measure of low attainment (e.g. No pass > D, No pass English or Maths) Action so far Government does not want a measure outside LAA indicators Next steps/suggestions CPU feedback is that it is too late for such a measure to be in LAAs and government preference for focusing on aspirations for attainment. It is about monitoring which groups of children are having very low attainment (LAC, PRU?). To check if GLA DMAG have/can have any data on this. There is potential to track children with very low/no qualifications through the system via CCIS (Connexions) data. CPU have offered to set up DCSF meeting. 5.4 Improving post-16 options No matter how much academic qualifications improve, genuine diversity of post-16 options will always be needed, and London has performed very poorly in this regard historically, although there has been some improvement in recent years. The development of diplomas promises to break down the barriers between vocational and academic qualifications and offers the possibility of a step change in the options available to pupils in London schools, provided there is the necessary engagement from employers and universities. While there is willingness to engage on all sides, a level of regional coordination will be needed given the uneven spread of both employment and third level institutions over the London region. Final Report Recommendation 20 We recommend that local authorities work together, co-ordinated by London Councils, to deliver a better 14-19 offer to young people in London and to commission an improved model of engagement for London‟s schools, employers and higher education institutes. 03/12/2011. Action so far Establishment of London Regional Planning Group (RPG) to bring together local authorities, employers and providers and provide strategic direction for the 14-19 reforms in London London Councils and ALDCS submitted a joint response to the Raising Expectations White Paper Held a London conference on 5 June which saw the launch of the 14-19 Regional Planning Group First meeting of the RPG held on 17 July Held a London conference on 5 June London Councils met with Harvey McGrath (LSEB and LDA) to agree his attendance on Group and support at the RPG. Also agreed way forward with the Mayor. GLA identified at „Choice‟ Development Group that a need to make the early links of this Regional Planning Group with the pan-London e-prospectus, as choice can provide key intelligence on courses across London. Next steps/suggestions 5.5 Intensive support for literacy Poor reading and writing scores at primary school are associated strongly with later low achievement. Children with particular reading and writing difficulties need to be better identified and supported through such schemes as reading recovery programmes as the key to accessing the wider curriculum. An evaluation of the reading recovery programme piloted in 42 London schools in deprived areas found that children gained 20 months in reading age as well as making improvements in their literacy, social skills and their confidence. Final Report Recommendation 21 We recommend that further dedicated resources be allocated to intensive work on literacy for pupils missing Key Stage 1 expected levels for reading and writing. Action so far ALDCS engaged in discussion with City Challenge Primary: also ensuring sharing of best practice through inter-borough school improvement consortia. Next steps/suggestions Meet with DCSF if key leads (ALDCS, London Councils) do not feel current DCSF initiatives – particularly „Every Child a Reader‟ – are sufficient. Potential scoping of models of parents and young people studying together re literacy (Institute of Education report on engaging with hard to reach families). The LDA may be interested due to dual nature of programme – e.g. addressing basic skills of parents outside of labour market with preventing intergenerational transmission of low basic skills. Potential links with Mayor‟s Fund and national Narrowing the Gap report recommendations. 03/12/2011. 5.6 Children missing from education The transition from primary to secondary school is also the stage when we see the emergence of serious problems affecting a significant minority of students. Low level (non-statemented) special educational needs increases - much more so for lower income children - driven by both behavioural and learning difficulties. Absence from school, while the numbers are relatively small, becomes a problem with potentially serious long-term consequences. Further support is needed for schemes working alongside schools and providing additional pastoral and curricula support to re-engage children in mainstream schooling. There are good practice examples already operating in some boroughs. However we have pointed out that when it comes to developing innovative approaches, London seems to be much better at experimenting on a small scale than at building the results over wider geographies. The barriers here are institutional, with 33 different local authorities and a lack of mechanisms to ensure co-ordination and the spread of good practice. Support for children missing education is just one area where government at regional, local and national levels should be seeking to overcome these barriers, allowing successful replication or expansion of approaches with a proven track record at local level. Final Report Recommendation 22 We recommend that central government works with regional and local tiers in London to develop a model of sustainable financial support to allow expansion of successful schemes working with children at risk of disengagement from compulsory education. Action so far Work through the London Youth Crime Prevention Board to improve London‟s alternative provision including Pupil Referral Units. Held seminar on 31 March for local authority leads and PRU heads Event informed DCSF‟s White Paper on alternative provision Joint response to „Back on Track‟ White Paper from ALDCS, London Councils and Mayor of London sent to DCSF. Followed by a letter from LYCPB Chair to Minister (Kevin Brennan).. Compiling regional bid to DCSF to pilot PRU work Pilot project submitted to Mayor‟s/LDA Young Londoners‟ Fund (Rainer Crime Concern + 3 NGOs) progressed to full application stage. This theme will feature in London Youth Offer November Conference Next steps/suggestions Seek meeting with DCSF, London Funders, City Challenge, LDA, LC and Boroughs Work through the London Youth Crime Prevention Board to improve London‟s alternative provision including Pupil Referral Units. London Councils to gauge any synergy with and possible London pilots of the national, two-year „Narrowing the Gap‟ research and development project (DCSF, LGA and IDeA), linked to new Centre of Excellence (C4EO). 03/12/2011. 5.7 Improving the transition to secondary school for lower income children Best practice examples of ways of improving the transition abound. Among the options are opening after-school clubs in secondary schools to primary pupils from feeder schools, summer school provision, engagement with parents and providing advice onsecondary school choice and various pedagogical and administrative measures. We would like to see a more effective method of developing and sharing best practice and setting benchmark standards across London. The Children‟s Plan has given a welcome focus to better engagement with parents, with a strong emphasis on the transition to secondary school, and has indicated that regulation or legislation may be required if more rapid progress is needed. We believe that a voluntary pan-London quality improvement programme focusing on secondary school transition would be a good way of testing what can be achieved through non- regulatory routes. It is envisaged that addressing potentially discriminatory admissions criteria, and promoting socially inclusive criteria, would be part of the focus of this work. Final Report Recommendation 23 We recommend that London Councils consider the feasibility of a London-wide quality improvement programme to set standards and promote best practice in managing the transition from primary to maintained sector secondary schools. Action so far Possibly ALDCS/City Challenge through the School Improvement Partnership Next steps/suggestions Project group to be established. One task would be to distil key research in this area, to determine any gaps/possible further research but primarily to focus on supporting London schools identified through City Challenge. A LB priority area. To check against funded programmes under the London Youth Offer (both to LBs and Young Londoners‟ Fund to 3rd sector). 03/12/2011. 6. Housing Lead Commissioner: Brendan Sarsfield, Family Mosaic Housing Association. Lead Officers: Nigel Minto, London Councils and Simon Cribbens, GLA 6.1 Temporary accommodation and employment There are about 60,000 families with children in temporary accommodation in London, with rents often in excess of £300 a week. Employment rates are even lower for this group than for social tenants generally. The Working Future pilot in east London has combined directly subsidised rents for temporary accommodation with intensive in-work support, with positive results. Final Report Recommendation 24 We recommend that the Working Future model of subsidising temporary accommodation rents and providing intensive support for employment be rolled out across London as a matter of urgency. Action so far In February a letter was sent to Stephen Timms, Caroline Flint and Yvette Cooper calling for the roll-out of Working Future. The letter was signed by the Mayor, Merrick Cockell (London Councils and Carey Oppenheim. Adam Sampson (Shelter), Belinda Porich (LHF) Stephen Timms has written this week, essentially saying they won't roll this model out. Meeting held with Caroline Flint's SPAD and lead LCPC commissioners responsible for Housing (September 2008) Next steps/suggestions Request for a meeting with Caroline Flint requested September 2008. 6.2 Minimising disruption of school career About half of all pupil mobility between key stages is associated with residential moves. Mobility is also strongly associated with poorer attainment and free school meal status, and it is important that the need to avoid disruption of children‟s education is taken into account by social housing providers, especially given the very large numbers of families in temporary accommodation in London. We welcome the Children‟s Plan promise of new good practice guidance and protocols for better working between children‟s services and housing departments. As part of this guidance it will be important to stress the need for temporary accommodation placements to take into account children‟s need for stability in their education. Final Report Recommendation 25 We recommend that guidance for local authorities strengthens requirements that when homeless families are placed in, or move between temporary accommodation, they should be offered accommodation within easy reach of children‟s schools. 03/12/2011. Action so far The Draft Mayor's Housing Strategy was published for the last administration and is now being rewritten. Broadly it will be a much slimmer and more focussed document, and the Mayor's Office favour a more flexible and light touch approach with the boroughs. Mayor's new Housing Strategy in production. Next steps/suggestions How else could this be taken forward? London Councils view? 6.3 The role of registered social landlords There is growing concern at the patterns of poor outcomes on a range of dimensions associated with social housing tenancies which go beyond even what would be expected given the disadvantages associated with social tenure in a heavily rationed system. We have therefore stressed the need for a concentration of effort on the social rented sector in London. It is important that public investment in social housing, which is vital to the future prospects of families in London, is accompanied by the necessary investment in social infrastructure. We cannot afford the risk of existing patterns of employment deprivation being replicated in the future. Registered social landlords (RSLs) have a key role to play here along with local authorities. In the context of major investment in new affordable and social housing, meeting housing need and improving family incomes need to be much more closely linked. Many RSLs are already rising to this challenge but there is a need for a clearer alignment of investment strategies and poverty reduction aims, including recognising that major investment creates, or should create, positive incentives for landlords to engage more fully. While it should be for RSLs to decide on the form of engagement, and funding for poverty reduction should remain a responsibility of tiers of government, future housing investment strategies should build in clear expectations regarding the level of commitment RSLs need to show towards reducing poverty looking forward. Final Report Recommendation 26 We recommend that the Mayor of London should use his Housing Strategy and Strategic Housing Investment Plan to require social landlords and their partners to provide closer integration of housing and employment services. Action so far The Strategic Housing Investment Plan for 2008-11 was published last year, and cannot be re-written in retrospect. It does not include such requirements. GLA could consider this for uncommitted funding released over the period. However, the government is not in favour of increased regulatory requirements of housing providers - in fact they are working to decrease the requirements placed on providers, and therefore are unlikely to allow such conditions to be placed on regional housing pot resources (not least because delivering new homes is hard enough in the current environment). . Next steps/suggestions GLA/LDA considering how they might work with the HCA to take forward this agenda 03/12/2011. 03/12/2011. Additional Activity These were not explicit recommendations made in the Commissions final report, but relevant activities currently being undertaken by London Councils with local authorities. Supporting local authorities to tackle child poverty Support local authorities to reduce child poverty. Support to London boroughs to deliver on tacking poverty through LAAs and local strategies to share good practice and take new and innovative approaches. Action so far Guidance around LAAs produced for London boroughs. 11 London boroughs have identified the child poverty target as a priority in their LAA. 11 more may have basket of indicators that will reduce child poverty. Briefing note produced for London boroughs following the publication of a pledge. Next steps/suggestions Develop virtual network of child poverty leads in London boroughs. Make London boroughs aware of pilots to be funded by CPU Hold at least one event around this issue for boroughs. 03/12/2011.
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