50 years on and poorer children in Britain are still born to fail

In a report published today, children’s charity the National Children’s Bureau is calling for urgent action to address the poverty and disadvantage that still wreaks havoc on children’s lives, causing them to lag far behind their more affluent peers in almost all areas of their lives, from health to education, early development to housing. Furthermore, a comparison with other developed nations shows that a lack of ambition for children growing up in this country causes children to suffer unnecessarily and risks these patterns of disadvantage becoming permanent features of our society.

“Greater Expectations” compares data on different aspects of children’s lives today with a ground breaking national cohort study of 11-year olds published in 1973. It finds that significantly more children grow up in poverty today, 3.5m compared to 2m, and these children suffer devastating consequences throughout their lives, including:

  • A child from a disadvantaged background is still far less likely to achieve a good level of development at age 4, to achieve well at school age 11 and do well in their GCSEs at 16 compared to a child from the most well off backgrounds.
  • Boys living in deprived areas are three times more likely to be obese than boys growing up in affluent areas and girls are twice as likely.
  • Children living in deprived areas are much more likely to be the victim of an unintentional injury/accident in the home and are nine times less likely than those living in affluent areas to have access to green space, places to play and to live in environments with better air quality.

You can access the NCB media release here and the full report here.


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