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Rival MPs seek early intervention policy

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Two MPs from opposing parties are calling on politicians of all shades to tackle the symptoms of social deprivation including teenage pregnancy, low educational attainment, drug and alcohol abuse and poor parenting.

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan-Smith MP and Labour's Graham Allen MP have jointly written a book Early Intervention, Good Parents, Great Kids, Better Citizens.

Their argument is that a more grown-up, all-party approach is now necessary, after "30 years of failure by governments of all parties to tackle social deprivation".

They believe that early intervention is a cheaper and more effective way of helping all 0-18 year olds become good parents by helping them look after their own children in the first three years.

They refer to an Early Intervention package being implemented in Nottingham by the Local Strategic Partnership (One Nottingham).

The measures include preconception support,a family/nurse partnership (intensive health visiting for 150 single mums and

babies), children's centres, the teaching of SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) to every primary school child, an anti-crime course for every 10-year old in the city, a drug and alcohol aware programme for every pre-teen child in Nottingham and pre-parenting courses for every teenager

The MPs say: "We are challenging out dated thinking in all parties.

"We need to build a social and political consensus if we are to go beyond treating the symptoms, and break once and for all, the inter-generational nature of our social problems. We hope our personal collaboration is the forerunner of something at national level."

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