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Page last updated at 08:10 GMT, Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Early intervention 'could save UK billlions'

More private money should be spent on early intervention schemes for disadvantaged children, according to a report out today. The government asked the Labour MP Graham Allen to look at how to break the cycle of "dysfunction and under-achievement" in some families.

Mr Allen told Today presenter Justin Webb: "If you give people, particularly young ones, the ability to do well at school, to arrive at school ready, instead as in Ofsted reports about a number of my primary schools, children arriving unable to speak a sentence, unable to recognise a letter from a number.

"If we can get these young people ready for school, give them all the assistance they need very early on, and cheaply, then the taxpayer actually bails out of their lives."

But he insisted that there was "no magic bullet" to tackle poverty. But he believed that the schemes, for which he would seek backing from the City, would save the country billions of pounds in the long-run.

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