The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) is committed to giving every child in our region the opportunity to thrive. That’s why in Summer 2021, NTCA’s Cabinet approved two pilot programmes, the Child Poverty Prevention Pilot and the Education Improvement pilot for the North of Tyne.
Working with local authority partners and school leaders, we have developed a Child Poverty Prevention Programme made up of four pillars.
The approach has been piloted in almost 90 schools and with 25 employers across North of Tyne in 2022-23. During the next academic year (2023-24) and is being expanded and developed to support 120 schools and 45 employers in total. A Child Poverty Prevention steering group made up of expert stakeholders are guiding this programme of activity.
We know that interventions work best when they are tailored, evidence-based and make use of trusted community settings and expertise. For this reason, NTCA commissioned Rocket Science to gain an understanding of existing poverty interventions across our area; what works well, what doesn’t and what can we learn from national best practice.
Participating schools can choose from interventions such as Poverty Proofing© audits, afterschool clubs, family learning or bespoke support.
In 2023-24 all schools can also access support to help them to embed equity in every aspect of their settings and to help the most disadvantaged children and young people in schools to achieve their potential.
Schools can find out more by watching the video below:
By providing easy access to welfare guidance, we aim to support families to better support themselves. Across our constituent authorities, we know there is strong existing practice offering individuals advice and guidance. Following a pilot in the Greater London Authority, we are bringing this advice and guidance into schools at a greater scale, across all phases, making it easy for parent/carers to access and acknowledging the positive relationships schools have developed with parents.
We have partnered with three organisations to support families in each of our constituent authorities (Newcastle Welfare Rights Service, Citizen’s Advice Northumberland and North Tyneside Citizen’s Advice) and their teams are working to suit the needs of each individual school and community in the programme, to maximise access to support for families.
Data tells us that employment is not always a route out of poverty. Besides paying a decent wage, employers can take practical steps to support employees experiencing financial insecurity.
The Working with Employers pillar of the Child Poverty Prevention Programme is being delivered by social enterprise Society Matters CIC. Society Matters’ approach involves supporting employers across the North of Tyne area to step up their support to employees, particularly in developing strategies to improve their financial wellbeing. The Society Matters team has developed a Poverty Reduction Framework for employers, which continues to evolve with understanding of regional best practice.
This pillar involves encouraging all employers across North of Tyne to reflect on working practices and to participate in a series of workshops to inform their own strategies. Here , businesses across the North of Tyne can book to attend employer workshops and find helpful resources relating to this work.
Society Matters is working in partnership with the North East Chamber of Commerce and local business networks to support employers and this work links with NTCA’s Good Work Pledge.
NTCA’s Good Work Pledge is free to join and supports businesses on their journey to being recognised as a ‘Good Work’ employer. This means work that provides job security, skills, progression, and decent pay- which are all important in addressing the causes of child poverty in our region.
Our newsletter provides regular updates on our progress on this programme, and is available to download below.
This pillar seeks to reduce the impact of socio-economic disadvantage on babies and children from conception to school age. Evidence supports a need for sustained financial, cultural and emotional investment in the early years. If you invest in families and the socialisation of children through fun, play and emotionally regulated environments, there is a direct benefit for them and their community.
Through this pillar support will be provided to 750 first-time parents to provide practical help to create a safe, fun and emotionally regulated environment for their babies, informing and supporting positive parenting behaviours.
For more information about the Child Poverty Prevention Pilot Programme, please contact email@example.com