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.