Skip to main content

Foundation years and UK Government's life chances strategy: joint inquiry

17 December 2015

The Commons Work and Pensions and Education Select Committees are launching a joint inquiry into the Government's life chances strategy and the role that early or foundation years intervention plays in shaping people's lives.

The Government has announced it intends to track child poverty by monitoring educational attainment at 16 and numbers of children living in workless households. It also intends to set out a range of other indicators, including family breakdown, debt and addiction in a children's life chances strategy. The inquiry will examine the proposals to introduce new life chances indicators and inform the development of the Government's life chances strategy.

Send a written submission

The Committees invites evidence on:

  • The relationship between early years education and the life chances strategy; and
  • Cross-departmental co-ordination on early years interventions and interaction with the benefits system and public services.

Chair's comments

Work and Pensions Committee Chair

Frank Field MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

"All the evidence points to our life chances being largely established in the very early years from the womb onwards. We can predict as children cross the school threshold for the first time their attainment and chances of gainful employment when they join the labour market. It is crucial that we understand how to measure and address these factors to give all children the best possible chances in life."

Education Committee Chair

Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Committee, said:

"What happens before children start school is crucial to their development and later attainment. In this inquiry we want to explore the relationship between early or foundation years education and the Government's life chances strategy. By joining forces in this way, we also hope to examine more effectively the work taking place across Whitehall on early years interventions and how they interact with the benefits system and public services".

Further information 

Image: iStockphoto