Frank Field MP
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Review on Poverty and Life Chances


In June 2010 the Government announced that Frank had been appointed to lead an independent review into poverty and life chances. The main aims of the Review were to:

  • Explore how a child's home environment affects their chances of being ready to take full advantage of their schooling
  • Generate a broader debate about the nature and extent of poverty in the UK
  • Recommend potential action by government and other institutions to reduce poverty and enhance life chances for the least advantaged, consistent with the Government's fiscal strategy
  • Examine the case for reforms to the poverty measures, in particular for the inclusion of non-financial elements
The Review was asked to report to the Prime Minister by the end of the year.

Commenting on the review, the Prime Minister said:

“I am pleased that Frank Field is undertaking this work.

In particular I hope that he can look at the issue of whether we should give more attention to – and find better ways of measuring – the time people spend in deep poverty, the gap between those in deep poverty and mainstream Britain and the problems of multiple deprivation and what keeps people trapped in poverty.

Understanding the real causes of poverty – both financial and non financial, including the importance of families and the pre school years – is vital if we are going to make Britain a fairer society in which opportunity is more equal.”

Website of the Independent Review on Poverty and Life Chances


The final report of the Independent Review on Poverty and Life Chances, conducted by Frank Field, was published on December 3rd 2010. The report sets out a new approach to meeting the Government’s target of abolishing child poverty. Click here to read the final report, The Foundation Years: Preventing Poor Children Becoming Poor Adults.  

The report sets out for the Government a new strategy for abolishing child poverty. It is simultaneously a policy for social mobility, in that it should result in today's poor children gaining the skills to acquire highly paid jobs. The strategy over time will therefore change the shape of the distribution of income in this country by eliminating the larger numbers of people who currently leave school to face at best a life time of low pay or at worse unemployment.

Full press release

Joint letter from Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to Frank in response to the report.


Frank and the Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee debate poverty and life chances at the Charities Parliament.


Interview with Frank on BBC Radio 4's Today show
The Guardian
The Daily Telegraph
The Spectator  
The Financial Times
The Daily Mail

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