Tackling child poverty delivery plan: fourth year progress report 2021 to 2022

The fourth annual progress report for 'Every child, every chance: tackling child poverty delivery plan 2018-2022'.

Executive Summary

This progress report captures the range of action taken between April 2021 and March 2022 (2021-22) to tackle child poverty in Scotland. This is the final of four annual progress reports published in relation to the first Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, 'Every Child, Every Chance', which covered the period 2018-22.

Progress over the past financial year has been delivered in the context of the ongoing impact of COVID-19. The lifting of almost all restrictions in Summer 2021 enabled key activity, for which progress was paused or severely impacted during 2020-21, to continue and regain momentum. However, families have been faced with a range of pressures including the ongoing impacts of UK Government welfare reform and EU exit, and significant increases in the cost of living – with this government taking further action to provide much needed support.

As of 31 March 2022, all actions set out in 'Every Child, Every Chance' had been delivered, this includes additional actions committed within annual progress reports.

Across the reporting year we took a range of key steps to tackle child poverty, including:

  • Launching the new Scottish Living Hours Accreditation Scheme encouraging businesses to provide secure contracts, flexible hours and payment of the real Living Wage;
  • Bringing the statutory duty for all eligible children to receive 1,140 hours of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) into effect from August 2021;
  • Delivering the ambitious 'Get into Summer' 2021 programme, estimated to have supported in excess of 130,000 children and young people;
  • Further increasing the value of the School Clothing Grant from a national minimum of £100 to at least £120 for every eligible child in primary school and £150 for eligible secondary school pupils from the start of the 2021-22 academic year;
  • Increasing universal provision of Free School Meals to all children in primaries 4 and 5 and investing £21.8 million to provide alternate provision for children from low income households during school holidays;
  • Delivering 9,757 affordable homes across Scotland, an increase of 51% on the previous year, and the highest figure in a single financial year since 2000-01;
  • Extending concessionary travel to young people under the age of 22 in Scotland, with around 930,000 young people now eligible for free bus travel;
  • Launching the Social Security Advocacy Service, supporting disabled people across the country to access and apply for Social Security Scotland assistance;
  • Providing immediate support worth £520 in both 2021 and 2022 through Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments, reaching 145,000 children as of spring 2022;
  • Making over 530,000 Low Income Pandemic Payments of £130 to low income households by the end of 2021 to help with costs of living;
  • Providing another extra payment of Carers Allowance Supplement in December 2021. Giving an increase of £231.40 for around 82,000 unpaid carers;
  • Broadening eligibility for Child Winter Heating Assistance to include young people in receipt of Personal Independence Payment, expanding the reach of this support to a further 4,500 children;
  • Launching the Child Disability Payment nationwide, following an initial pilot period, and opening applications for Adult Disability Payment for people living in three pilot areas;
  • Increasing in year investment to improve attainment and outlining plans for the next phase of the Scottish Attainment Challenge;
  • Delivering a £41 million Winter Support Fund to support low income households impacted by rising living and fuel costs, including a £10 million Fuel Insecurity Fund, £25 million of flexible funding for local authorities and £6 million for third sector partners.

In addition, we set out future plans to drive progress in tackling inequalities and to make Scotland a fairer and more prosperous country. This includes through actions set out in our COVID Recovery Strategy, Fuel Poverty Strategy, National Strategy for Economic Transformation and Promise Implementation Plan.

Complementing these strategic plans, and the actions taken through 'Every Child, Every Chance', we worked together with partners and stakeholders across Scotland to inform and develop the second Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan for 2022-26.

We published 'Best Start, Bright Futures', on 24 March 2022, which outlines a range of ambitious action to be taken forward by partners across Scotland to drive progress against the interim and final child poverty targets. The annual progress report to be published by the end of June 2023 will relate to the second delivery plan.


Email: tcpu@gov.scot

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