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Young Lives, Young Futures

Our findings so far...

School can be a hostile place for many young people

More than half of young people in England enjoy school. But for nearly 1 in 2 young people aged 15-16, secondary school is not fun or meaningful, but something they feel they need to ‘get through’ because of its bearing on their futures.

Non-university routes into employment come with distinctive barriers or challenges

From readiness for work to structural barriers, our qualitative research has also shone a light on significant regional differences.

The pandemic has significantly impacted young people’s lives and post-16 transitions

The shift to remote learning particularly affected vocational courses. We're also seeing concern about the impact of the pandemic on young people’s mental health

Uneven quality and availability of careers information, advice and guidance 

There is widespread concern among our participants about current provision of careers information, advice and guidance in England, with many young people being denied access to impartial advice from professionally trained careers advisors.

The post-16 transitions through VET of the young people we are speaking with were often non-linear and disjointed

But this is not always viewed as negative by the young people themselves...

Young people who have migrated face additional challenges relating to their transitions

These include recognition of their qualifications, lack of English Language support and navigating an unknown education system.

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Our reports

February 2023

New report on young people's experiences of alienation in the English secondary-school system.

The Schools for All? report draws from a 2021 national survey of over 10,000 young people and interviews with over 100 young people, carried out from 2020-2022. It finds that young people from low-income backgrounds and those in minority categories are more likely to experience school as discriminating, unsupportive or alienating.

March 2022

We're investigating how England’s post-16 vocational education and training system can better support the education-to-work transitions of young people who do not go to university. Our first interim report presents key themes from the initial stages of the project's research.


The report draws on interviews with policy makers, education practitioners and young people in four contrasting areas of England.

March 2022

We've also made the key findings from our first interim report available as an executive summary (for faster reading). 


Have a look here...


Young Lives, Young Futures

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