Life chances

What will it take to improve children's life chances?

Improving children's life chances - book cover

Child poverty steals away children's life chances. Poor children are more likely to be behind their peersineducation, have poorer health, a shorter life-span and a worse sense of well-being. 

So what are 'life chances'? And do they mean anything at all if child poverty is not to be tackled at the same time?

The government has committed itself to bringing forward a strategy on children's life chances. In this context, CPAG asked leading experts in policy and practice to help us answer these questions, and others. 

'Improving children's life chances', a major contribution to the debate, includes chapters on schooling, health and wellbeing, mental health and housing, as well as how we should measure life chances and what an effective strategy would look like. 

Read the summary.

Read more about the book and buy online.

Key elements of a life chances stratey

What the reviewers say:

"Your chance in British life is still far too much a matter of fortune. Birth and inheritance still count for more than they should.This comprehensive set of essays diagnoses the problem and instructs politicians how to win the argument for change." - PHILIP COLLINS, THE TIMES

"Here is all the research about what holds people back, stunts their childhood and their life chances... Love matters above all and money isn’t everything, yet the psychological, emotional, physical and educational effects on parents and children of going without are mapped out here with painful precision. Deprivation damages children deeply. Read this, and there can be no denying it. The only question is why, when politicians of all parties call for equal opportunities for all, so many children never get that vital good start, though the remedy is relatively simple: as CPAG has always said, money matters." - POLLY TOYNBEE, THE GUARDIAN

"A host of ...skilled authors show how everything from housing to health is made so much worse by poverty. This poverty is entirely avoidable in a country as rich as the UK." - DANNY DORLING, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

"The Conservative Government's commitment to improving life chances is serious. So is this book from the Child Poverty Action Group, which provides considered and realistic ideas for social reform. The arguments are rooted in evidence and refreshingly thought-provoking, revealing the range of factors that affect people's life chances. The authors rightly show that money matters to participating in modern Britain, but that a good life is more than just financial success" - RYAN SHORTHOUSE, BRIGHT BLUE