Thursday, September 22, 2005

The purpose of Sure Start

Last week I wrote about the Birkbeck College report on the government's Sure Start scheme. In particular, the way Polly Toynbee and a Guardian leader writer used it as evidence of the need for Sure Start to be expanded, even though it found few signs that the scheme was having a positive effect on the development of poor children.

On the Spiked website Jenny Bristow suggests that this is not really the point of Sure Start:
Sure Start's aim is not to transform the fortunes of poor children: how could it, when the one solution to child poverty - giving parents more money - is conspicuously absent in its approach? Its aim is gradually to transform the relationship between the family and the state. In this sense, it doesn't matter what the evaluators find out about child development; it is the evaluation itself that is important.

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