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New figures reveal only 16pc of disadvantaged Havering children make it to university

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 December 2017

Photo: PA

Photo: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Fewer than one in six children on free school meals in Havering go on to higher education, shocking new research has discovered.

The Social Mobility Commission’s study revealed that just 16pc of youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds in the borough go on to university or other higher education.

This is compared with 53pc in Westminster, the best performing area in England.

The government watchdog’s latest report into inequality in Britain highlights the huge variation in life chances for youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds depending on where they grow up.

The commission assessed the development of children across the country from nursery right up to university, ranking each of England’s 324 local authorities for social mobility.

It defines pupils on free school meals as those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The study found that 52pc of five-year-olds eligible for free school meals achieve “a good level of development” by the time they are ready to start primary school.

And only 48pc of those pupils go on to achieve the expected level in reading, writing and maths by age 11.

Of those youngsters, 46pc go to a secondary school with a good or outstanding Ofsted rating, significantly below the English average of 73pc.

Out of the pupils from deprived backgrounds who finished school at 18, just 33pc achieved two or more A-levels, or equivalent qualifications.

At least one in every seven children who was eligible for free school meals is not in education, employment or training by the age of 17.

The report found that the worst performing areas for social mobility are no longer inner city areas, but remote rural and coastal areas, and former industrial areas.

Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds living in these areas face far higher barriers than young people growing up in cities and their surrounding areas.

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