Thursday 12 November 2015

Green Party condemns Government's 'assault' on children's futures

Responding to a report which has exposed the ‘double disadvantage’ being faced by young people from poor backgrounds, the Green Party has called on the government to tackle the rising impact of poverty on young peoples’ futures.

The report, written by education charity the Sutton Trust, found that less than one in three (29%) white working class boys from poor neighbourhoods are studying past GCSE level. That’s compared to almost half (46%) of working class boys from affluent areas and two in three (68%) of boys from wealthier backgrounds.

Alongside teaching unions and campaign groups, the Green Party has consistently emphasised the link between poverty and poor attainment in education, and called for greater investment in teaching as well as an end to the welfare reforms which have seen inequality widen.

Green Party spokesperson for schools, Samantha Pancheri, said:
The evidence of the damaging impact austerity is having on young people’s futures continues to mount and yet the government continues to wilfully ignore the facts. Quite frankly it’s inexcusable.

From welfare reforms exacerbating poverty, to cuts to education budgets, and the creeping privatisation of the education system, this report confirms that young peoples’ aspirations are being eroded through an assault on their future – an assault that the government has the power to stop.

We should not be surprised that working class children from poor neighbourhoods feel
disenfranchised from education, as the government’s reforms are creating more pressure than ever on pupils to perform well in examinations, whilst simultaneously eroding their prospects to turn this into a meaningful future for themselves.

Whilst this report highlights the urgent need to address the causes of young people struggling through the education system up to GCSE level, it is vital that this is accompanied by widespread efforts to protect Further Education, and ensure that pupils have every opportunity to fulfil their potential.

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