Sure Start Local Programmes (SSLPs) was a major strategic effort by New Labour towards ending child poverty. By changing the way services were delivered to children under four and their families, through targeting and empowering highly-deprived small geographic areas, SSLPs were intended to enhance child, family and community functioning. Following 5 years of systemic research exploring the efficacy and impact of this grand experiment, this book pulls together, in a single volume, the results of the extensive National Evaluation of Sure Start (NESS).
The book reviews the history of policies pertaining to child health and well being which preceded and set the stage for Sure Start. It provides insight into how SSLPs were expected to function and how they actually operated, both in terms of their strengths, weaknesses and costs. The contributors examine the nature of the communities in which these programmes were situated and how they changed over time; present the early effects of SSLPs on children and families, with evidence highlighting some small beneficial effects and some small deleterious ones and extract specific features of SSLPs that contributed to whether individual programmes benefited children and families, providing a guide for the revision of programmes and policies.
With a foreword from Naomi Eisdenstadt, former Director of the Sure Start Programme and concluding chapter by Prof. Sir Michael Rutter, member of the government’s scientific advisory board overseeing NESS, this book provides an insightful critique of SSLP policy and NESS that will be of interest to students of child development, families and communities, as well as policymakers and policy scholars, local and national providers of services to children and families and evaluation specialists.
67 Chapter 7 National Insurance The National Insurance scheme was designed to be the backbone of the social security system, though its role has been eroded. It provides a range of benefits, principally now the State Pension and benefits for people who are bereaved. Despite the large numbers of people who are covered, the scheme has important deficiencies: people are not necessarily able to contribute, and insurance tends to exclude people in need, requiring different benefits to fill the gap. The range of National Insurance benefits has shrunk, and
111 8 Poverty in national perspective Poverty can be understood in many ways, at many levels. Milanovic discusses three different ways of looking at the world.1 The first, ‘Concept 1’, treats all nations as equivalent, counting for one and no more than one. Some countries have caught up with others, but the distance between the top and the bottom, and between higher- and lower-income countries, is as big as ever. The second, ‘Concept 2’, weights countries according to the size of their population. Using that as the test, the relationship between rich and
181 Cross-national comparisons SIX Cross-national comparisons Having looked at each of our three countries individually, we turn now to comparing the different national experiences. What has merging departmental responsibility for childcare and education, pre-school and school actually meant in terms of policy, provision and practice? How can we characterise the ‘integration’ process in each case? How far has integration gone and what dimensions are involved? How can we make sense of the different experiences? How do they relate, for example, to the contextual
26 3 The National Health Service The National Health Service is held in some high regard, and with considerable affection. People love it for the high principles it embodies, the protection and security it offers and (for the most part) their experience of its service – there are few families where no one has experienced a serious illness. The NHS is, a former Conservative chancellor famously observed, ‘the closest thing the English people have to a religion’.1 The rationale for the NHS is both moral – it represents a moral commitment and a right to
Part One Historical and cross-national perspectives
125 7 National Power and Regional Security The Modi government swept to power promising to deliver ‘comprehensive national security’, with a whole of government approach, and ‘zero tolerance’ for ‘terrorism, extremism and crime’ (BJP, 2014a, p. 37). It pledged that it would ‘deal with cross border terrorism with a firm hand’, modernise the military and increase spending on defence- related research and development. It also declared that it would bolster the nuclear deterrent and ‘study in detail India’s nuclear doctrine, and revise and update it, to make
33 THREE National accounts for policy analysis Anne Harrison A new system of accounts Even those with little knowledge and less interest in economics have heard of gross domestic product, at least in its abbreviated form of GDP. Few of those who quote GDP knowledgeably are aware of the whole system from which it is drawn and the richness this system provides, for instance to demonstrate the interaction of production with the demand for capital and labour, or the process by which income from employment is transformed into a different capacity to purchase the