Client: Greater London Authority

We are hugely excited about the publication of the evaluation report for the Greater London Authority (GLA) Tackling Child Poverty Through Schools pilot programme. WSA Community Consultants delivered the external evaluation together with our partners Kim Donahue Consulting, Small Change and Gillian Granville.

The pilot project was developed as part of the Mayor of London’s commitment to tackling child poverty as a strategic objective included in the Mayor’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Strategy The overarching aim of the pilot programme was:

‘To demonstrate the benefits of working in partnership with schools and local services to provide targeted support to low-income families to help reduce child poverty in participating schools.’

From April 2019, the GLA commissioned CPAG to pilot an approach to working with schools to support them in tackling the symptoms and some of the underlying causes of child poverty. This involved appointing a small number of School Coordinators to work intensively with localised clusters of primary schools and to assist them with co-designing and implementing a range of initiatives to support low-income families.

Eleven schools recruited across four clusters With all of the schools receiving  income maximisation support for families on one-to-one basis delivered between April and December 2019.

“Because I never did those kind of things before, I didn’t know how to claim the benefits but she helped me write out the forms and all that.” (Parent / Carer)

Our report evaluates the impact of the pilot project and the progress which was measured against four intended project outcomes:

  1. Improved health and wellbeing for participating low-income families.
  2. Improved employment and education attainment outcomes for participating low-income families.
  3. Improved financial outcomes for participating low-income families.
  4. Improved school practice including referral pathways and partnerships between participating schools and local support services.

The report delves into the impact the pilot had on participating schools and families, the key drivers of change and makes a number of key recommendations for the future of the project. Some of the key findings are:

  • An increase in parents’ and carers’ confidence and well-being.
  • Levels of trust between parents / carers and school staff are increased.
  • Where financial stress was reduced, relationships between parents and carers and their children, and between siblings, improved.
  • A third of schools reported increased parental involvement and participating families increased their knowledge of welfare rights and built confidence in accessing the benefits system.
  • Cooperation between schools on the project has improved and Schools had developed a range of strategic relationships and referral pathways.
  • Most schools increased their knowledge of local support services.

This article is just a short snapshot of the report and the impact the pilot project had. To read the full report, please click here

Publications and reports

GLA Tackling child poverty through schools pilot evaluation report