Blog post

Life after school: The road most travelled?

Our founder Impetus-PEF has released new research into the attainment gap for disadvantaged young people in the UK. The report highlights how too many young people are failing to transition from school to work.

The research revealed:

  • An alarming number of disadvantaged young people are not achieving the crucial GCSEs they need to succeed the first time around. Their better off peers are nearly twice as likely as they are to get five good GCSEs including English and maths, by age 16.
  • If they have not achieved the first time, too many disadvantaged young people are not getting a strong enough chance to catch up. Only 46% of disadvantaged students achieved English or maths qualification at GCSE Level 2 by the time they were 19. Leaving 45,000 disadvantaged young people without the essential skills and qualifications to succeed in education and employment.
  • Meanwhile 71% of their better off peers achieved these crucial qualifications by 19.
  • If they have achieved qualifications at GCSE or equivalent, only 36% of disadvantaged young people moved on to achieve a Level 3 qualification by 19, compared to 60% of their more advantaged peers.
  • Once they achieve a Level 3 qualification, disadvantaged young people are moving at a similar rate into sustained education, employment and training pathways as their better off peers – 71% vs 74%, proving the need for quality post-16 provision to provide a level playing field for all young people

Yet this new research highlights facts that we are all too familiar with at ThinkForward . Which is why we intervene early in the lives of hard to reach young people to significantly improve their chances of making a successful transition into sustained employment. We work with young people in east London aged 13-19, who through personal or social circumstances are most at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training).

At the heart of the programme are our Progression Coaches who work full-time in schools providing tailored, support over five years to young people ensuring they have the experience and skills to be workforce ready. We work across all aspects of a young person’s life, providing connectivity between school, home and where necessary social services or youth offending teams. Working with other professionals, a Coach will help each young person overcome any personal challenges they are experiencing so that they can focus on their education and becoming ready for the world of work.

We believe, no matter what your background, young people should be supported to achieve their best both in and out of school. However as this report highlights, if they don’t get the grades at 16, most don’t get another opportunity to catch-up.

To find out more about ThinkForward or to support our work click here. To read the rest of the report click here: The road most travelled? The 16-19 journey through education and training.