KATE Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston, has supported young people gathering evidence as part of a new inquiry set up to help tackle poverty across England.

In the first inquiry led by children into the cost of attending school and its effect on children in poverty, Ms Green helped young people from The Children’s Commission on Poverty ask experts questions about the cost of going to school in a special session in Parliament.

She said: “I was pleased to be able to help young people question experts about the costs of school meals.

“It was a really fascinating session and its’ great that children’s voices can be heard on such crucial issues.

“I look forward to reading the findings of the Commission’s report in the autumn.”

The Children’s Commission on Poverty questioned witnesses over three days this month. It investigated how struggling families manage to bear the costs of school essentials such as lunches, uniforms and basic materials, including text books and access to computers.

Matthew Reed, The Children’s Society’s chief executive, said: “We are grateful for Kate’s support for the young people and her commitment to ensuring children’s views are heard on this issue.

“The crisis of child poverty is growing, yet children’s views have been largely absent from the poverty debate. Children’s ability to benefit fully from their education is critical to their future. Yet too often, children in poverty are missing out because of the costs involved.”

The Commission is seeking written testimony as part of its inquiry from anyone concerned about this issue, including children, parents and teachers and other school staff.

The proportion of children in poverty in the UK has nearly doubled in the last 30 years with 3.7 million children living in poverty across the country. Nearly two-thirds are in low-income working families.

* Evidence can be submitted at /childrenscommission.org.uk/submitting-evidence or by email to commissioninquiry@childrenssociety.org.uk.