This paper reviews New Labor priority educational policies since 1997 that have attempted to break the link between poverty and low educational achievement in England. It does so by examining these policy priorities against a mapping framework developed by the author for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's Education and Poverty program. This framework emanates from a synthesis of some of the research literature on poverty and education and contains two broad underpinning approaches (functionalist and socially critical) and three levels of analysis (micro, meso, macro). Analysis of New Labor priority educational policies against this framework, particularly exemplified through the current full service extended schools (FSES) initiative, suggests that perhaps too many interventions are underpinned by a functionalist approach that focuses on the more accessible and amenable meso level (and to lesser extent the micro level) with too little emphasis on the macro. At the same time many of the interventions appear disjointed, lack coherence and seem to eschew issues of power. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.