Sunday, 8 February 2009

I have been reading the Cabinet Office publication 'Aspiration and Attainment amongst Young People in Deprived Communities'. This excellent report was published at the end of last year and it is essential reading for all of us.
The key findings are that:
  • young people's aspirations and those of their parents and carers influence their educational attainment and outcomes; with 11 - 14 being a key time when young people's ambitions become fixed;
  • young people are more likely to achieve positive outcomes when they develop ambitious, achievable aspirations combined with the self-esteem, self-efficacy, information and inspiration they need to work towards their goals;
  • aspirations vary by gender, ethnicity, social class and area, with white boys having the lowest aspirations;
  • Parents are the most important influence on children and both are strongly influenced by the people and places where they live;
  • communities matter and young people are less likely to develop ambitious, achievable aspirations if they live in neighbourhoods with high levels of deprivation;
  • not all deprived communities are the same and some young people in very deprived communities have high aspirations;
  • locally tailored behavioural change programmes can shift attitudes, change behaviours and improve outcomes.
If you want to read this important report it is available at

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