Impact of poverty on students' chances laid bare by new data


Research showing the stark impact of poverty on young people's career aspirations has reignited the debate about how we support our disadvantaged children.

  • Young people from Middlesborough are 10 times more likely to be unemployed as those from wealthy Wokingham in Surrey.

  • Compared to the average, those from Middlesborough are almost three times as likely to be unemployed. 

  • Only one per cent of young people from Kingston Upon Hull go to a red brick university compared to 34 per cent of those from Wimbledon.

When published, the Compare Futures project, which is being run by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies with funding from the Nominet Trust, will allow people to compare the educational, employment and personal circumstances of young adults in every neighbourhood across England.

Alongside the project, the Nominet Trust, a charity that supports the use of technology to improve lives, is now looking to invest £2 million to fund ideas for new ways of using digital technology to “improve young people’s economic and social participation”.

Examples of the kind of projects it might be looking for include supporting employment, peer mentoring, or using new technology to improve the relationships between young people and those who support them. The first round of applications is open now and closes on August 1.

Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, hopes that the data will be a useful tool for educators and policy-makers. He said: “We are taught to believe that life is what you make of it, that the able will succeed, regardless of background. Compare Futures will challenge politicians to champion policies that correct the postcode lottery that affects deeply young peoples’ life chances.

“You can have an excellent teacher but if they are dealing with children who have very challenging circumstances then they are always going to struggle.”

For details on how to apply for the funding, visit


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