Save the Date! Child Poverty and Social Mobility Seminar

Implications of the Welfare Reform and Work Act for low income children and families in the North East

A joint seminar organised by the Institute for Local Governance (ILG) and the North East Child Poverty Commission (NECPC)

10th June 2016, 1-3.45pm                          Lindisfarne Centre, Durham University

The government’s Welfare Reform and Work Act achieved Royal Assent in March 2016 and has now passed into law. It holds significant implications for how child poverty is defined, measured and addressed in the UK. The Act marks a policy movement away from income-based measures of poverty and the removal of statutory obligations on local authorities to reduce child poverty. Instead, it emphasises tackling worklessness, improving educational attainment and supporting ‘Troubled’ families as the most effective ways to increase the life chances of children living in poverty.

This seminar will explore the potential implications of the Act for the life chances of children living in low income families in the North East, focusing on three key aspects of the Act: the changing definition and measurement of child poverty; extension of the Troubled Families programme (and its effectiveness); and the impact of welfare reform on low income families.

Draft programme

Registration from 12.45pm

1-1.10pm            Chair’s welcome (Phillip Edwards, Institute for Local Governance)

1.10-1.30pm       Introduction to the Welfare Reform and Work Act (Dr Deborah Harrison, NECPC)

1.30-2pm            Changing definitions and measurement of child poverty (Bishop Paul Butler)

2-2.30pm            The ‘Troubled Families’ programme (Stephen Crossley, Durham University)

2.30-2.45pm       Coffee break

2.45-3.15pm        Welfare reform, foodbank use and low income families in Stockton-on-Tees (Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite, Durham University)

3.15-3.40pm        Panel discussion

3.40-3.45pm        Closing remarks (Phillip Edwards)

This seminar is intended to be of interest to a wide audience including researchers and academics, Local Authorities and other public sector agencies, housing providers, third sector organisations, schools and children’s services.

This event is free but places are limited and tend to book up quickly. To register, please email


Past meetings

Food poverty and holiday provision

Tuesday April 5th 2016  9.30am–2pm (with lunch)

College of St Hild and St Bede, Durham University

In 2016 the North East Child Poverty Commission will have a campaign focus on food poverty. This meeting is designed to bring together a range of people including commissioners, practitioners, researchers, campaigners and those with experience of living in poverty. The aim is to update on current and planned provision in the region, explore key issues affecting children and families, and share ideas about how we can work together to continue to raise the profile of food poverty in the North East.

A detailed programme will follow in early 2016. Themes will include:

  1. Holiday hunger and school holiday provision
  2. Food banks and their alternatives 
  3. Healthy food access, including Healthy Start

Key questions:

  • What is happening (and not happening) in the region?
  • What do we know about ‘what works’?
  • How can we work together to raise the profile of food poverty in the North East?
  • How can we work together to tackle the problem?
  • Who do we need to influence in our campaign, and how?

This open meeting is intended to be of interest to a wide audience, including:

  • Local Authorities and other public sector agencies
  • Housing providers
  • Third sector organisations
  • Schools and children’s services
  • Researchers and academics
  • NECPC members
  • Young people and families affected by poverty

This event is free and includes lunch, but places are limited. Please register at the following link:

Got a project or issue you want to shout about? Something specific you want us to cover? Ideas for a future meeting? Get in touch with NECPC’s Coordinator Deb on or 07983 408966.


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Work has to be a better route out of poverty. Most poor children have a working parent.

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Poverty leads to poor attainment.  Poor attainment leads to poverty.

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Local Authorities

Councils have a duty to address child poverty through their services, jobs and contracts.

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Everyone can help to tackle child poverty. Every contribution matters.

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