The Child Poverty Basket in the National Indicator Set 1. Local authorities and their partners have a vital role in delivering the services that will contribute to ending child poverty. As providers and commissioners of services they also have a major part to play in narrowing the gaps in outcomes between children from low income families and their peers, and breaking inter-generational cycles of deprivation. Through driving regional economic performance and sustainable growth they also create prosperity and employment. 2. Local authorities can provide strategic leadership in tackling child poverty and facilitate creative solutions tailored to local circumstance. Many local partnerships are already doing excellent and innovative work, but there is much more to do. To support this, the Child Poverty Unit and partners are creating a range of tools and support to help local partnerships develop and deliver effective child poverty strategies, within the context of local Sustainable Community Strategies. Why has the Child Poverty Unit defined a basket of indicators within the current NIS? 3. The Child Poverty Unit has been asked to identify a basket of indicators from the current National Indicator Set (NIS) which most closely reflect the drivers of child poverty that can be influenced by the local authority and its partners. 4. The “basket” described below is drawn from the NIS. It is hoped that this will help local partnerships understand the broad range of factors contributing to child poverty locally. A variety of baskets have been proposed but we hope that by specifying a single basket, based upon the best available evidence, we will create a shared understanding between national, regional and local partners of which NIS indicators are most relevant in tackling child poverty. How can the basket be used? 5. The current NIS does not contain indicators which comprehensively capture all activity that contributes to tackling the causes of child poverty. Therefore progress on the indicators identified in the basket will not guarantee progress in tackling child poverty, but will give some indication that progress is being made in the right areas. 6. Information on the indicators within the basket can be used alongside the other information available to help partners understand and address their local situation. We are not however seeking to introduce new indicators or change agreed LAA targets. 7. Clarity on the drivers of child poverty is especially important now as the Child Poverty Bill introduces a duty for local partners to undertake a child poverty needs assessment. The Child Poverty Unit’s website, launched later this year, will provide links to help local partners to understand and access the wider data available to them to help in this task. Will the basket replace NI116? 8. A basket of indicators must not replace NI116: it is still critical that areas focus on the ultimate goal of tackling child poverty. The purpose of the basket of indicators is not to provide an alternative to NI116, but to enable all partners to understand and reflect progress towards this outcome in more depth. Diagram 1. Child Poverty Pyramid: 9. The pyramid diagram below represents our best understanding of the factors that impact on child poverty1. To be effective an area will have to focus attention on the factors which have largest and most direct impact on child poverty. We have tried to reflect this by prioritising indicators in the basket into a hierarchy of three tiers that reflect their casual impact of indicators in contributing to reducing child poverty. Child Poverty Factors that directly influence families’ resources and incomes today Financial Support Costs (tax credits, (eg. housing, benefits & Parental utilities) child employment maintenance) & earnings Factors that directly influence families’ abilities to enter and sustain well paid employment in the short and longer term. Adult Skills Transport Job Education Childcare availability Factors that indirectly influence families’ abilities to enter and sustain well paid employment and escape poverty now and in the future Access to Crime, Children’s services and Teenage drug & outcomes Financial facilities pregnancy Relationship alcohol Health Inclusion breakdown use. 1 The development of the Child Poverty Strategy will reveal more detail on the impact of different drivers on child poverty. Table 1: The Child Poverty Unit’s Child Poverty Basket 10.Using the pyramid, we have identified twenty indicators within the NIS that make up the child poverty basket. These are outlined in the table below. 11.In some areas, there may be other pertinent issues that contribute to child poverty, and are not reflected in the table below. The table also suggests a further 9 NIS indicators not in the basket that relate to Child Poverty that areas may feel are needed to supplement the basket. Tier Outcome Related Indicators in Current NIS which would make up a Basket High level All of the children living in poverty outcome NI116: Proportion of children in poverty. in the local area The number of parents in NI151: Overall employment rate employment. The earnings of parents in NI166: Median income of employees in the area. employment. The number of families taking up Second tier of the benefits and tax credits that N/A outcomes: they are entitled to factors that directly The timeliness and accurateness of NI181: Time taken to process HB/CTB new claims and influence payments administered by local change events. families’ partners. incomes and resources NI158: % non-decent council homes today The proportion of families with children living in decent homes. NI156: Number of households living in temporary accommodation. The proportion of families with NI187: % people receiving income based benefits living children experiencing fuel poverty. in homes with a low energy rating. NI163: Proportion aged 19-64 for males and 19-59 for The skills levels of parents. females qualified to L2 or higher. Third tier: Factors that NI82: Inequality gap in the achievement of a level 2 directly qualification by the age of 19 influence families’ NI92: Narrowing the gap between the lowest achieving 20% in The levels of achievement and abilities to the EYFS and the rest enter and progression amongst children and sustain well young people, particularly those NI101: LAC achieving 5A*-C GCSEs or equivalent at KS4 paid from low income families and other including English and Maths employment in disadvantaged groups. the short and NI102: Achievement gap between pupils eligible for FSM and longer term. their peers at Key Stage 2 and 4. NI105: SEN/non-SEN gap achieving % A*-C GCSEs including English and maths. NI106: young people from low income backgrounds progressing to HE. NI108: KS4 attainment for BME groups. NI117: 16 to 18 year olds who are NEET The sufficiency of suitable employment opportunities that offer sufficient pay and/or N/A progression routes to move families out of poverty. The sufficiency of suitable and NI118: Take up of formal childcare amongst low income affordable childcare for parents in families. employment and training. The sufficiency of affordable transport, particularly between NI176: Working age people with access to employment poorest communities and areas by public transport. where there are employment opportunities. In addition to the core basket set out above, partners may want to include other indicators that reflect pertinent issues in their area. Other relevant indicators include: NI76: Reduction in number of schools where fewer than 65% of pupils achieve level 4 or above with English and Maths at KS2. NI78: Reduction in number of schools where fewer than 30% of pupils achieve 5 or Additional more A*-C at GCSE including GCSEs in English and Maths. Indicators NI112: Under 18 conception rate partners may NI146 Adults with learning disabilities in employment wish to add NI150: Adults in contact with mental health services in employment to their NI153: Working age people claiming out of work benefits in the worst performing basket neighbourhoods NI161: Number of level 1 qualifications in literacy achieved. NI162: Number of entry level qualifications in numeracy achieved. NI172: Percentage of small businesses in an area showing employment growth.