According to a new report into family breakdown, at least one million children are growing up without a father.
A study by The Centre for Social Justice warns that some of the poorest parts of the country have become “men deserts” because so few primary schools have male teachers, and many kids have no contact with male role models.
The report titled Fractured Families: Why Stability Matters reveals that across England and Wales, one in four primary schools has no male teacher and 80% have fewer than three.
The report also highlights that the number of lone-parent families is set to hit two million by the next general election.
In a statement, think tank director Christian Guy warns of a “tsunami” of family breakdown battering the country, unless the Government do more to promote family stability.
Father absence is linked to higher rates of teenage crime, pregnancy and disadvantage, the report warns.
Liverpool has eight out of the country’s top 20 areas with the highest levels of fatherless households. In one neighbourhood in the Riverside ward of Liverpool, there is no father present in 65% of households with dependent children.
Mr Guy adds: “For children growing up in some of the poorest parts of the country, men are rarely encountered in the home or in the classroom. This is an ignored form of deprivation that can have profoundly damaging consequences on social and mental development.
“There are ‘men deserts’ in many parts of our towns and cities and we urgently need to wake up to what is going wrong.”
The CSJ report recalls David Cameron’s election pledge to lead the “most family-friendly Government ever”. Yet, it claims that the family stability agenda “has barely been mentioned”.
Comprehensive action to tackle existing policy barriers to family stability “has been almost entirely absent”, it adds.