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Inquiry launched into life chances strategy

The Commons Work and Pensions and Education Select Committees have launched an inquiry into the government’s life chances strategy and the role that early years intervention plays in shaping lives.

The inquiry will examine government proposals to introduce new life chances indicators, which will see the government track child poverty by monitoring educational attainment at 16 and the numbers of children living with unemployed parents, as well as instances of family breakdown, debt and addiction as they seek to determine the life chances of young people.

Commenting on the inquiry, Frank Field, 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.”

Neil Carmichael, chair of the Education Committee, said: “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.”