The growing cost of hidden non-core school items such as school trips, extra curricula activities and learning resources is causing a greater gap between the advantaged and disadvantaged.
Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are far less likely to get good GCSE results. Attainment statistics from the Equity and Quality in Education: Supporting Disadvantaged Students and Schools Spotlight Report published in January 2014 show that in 2013 37.9% of pupils who qualified for free school meals got 5 GCSEs, including English and mathematics at A* to C, compared with 64.6% of pupils who do not qualify. Children and young people who grow up in areas of deprivation can be hindered by the belief that they only live by the cards they have been dealt. Their perception of themselves and their opportunities are limited in response to their social environment. Economic struggles only add to the problem and can increase the belief and thinking that they are not able to achieve. and causes them not to believe in their own abilities. This cycle needs to be broken, as ability is not the sole preserve of the privileged.
A complex range of factors have an impact on social and emotional development with money and role models being high on the list. Children who come from second and third generation families who don't work or who have been unable to access learning are more likely to fall into this pattern themselves. We also know from research that children living in disadvantaged families are more likely to be exposed to adverse factors such as parental substance misuse, mental illness, neglect, abuse and domestic violence. Consequently, they are more likely to experience emotional and behavioral problems that can impact on their development and opportunities in life (Farrington et al. 2006; Shonkoff and Phillips 2000).
The issue is so deep-rooted in society and culture that individuals can unconsciously carry a deeply embedded mind-set that they have less to offer in terms of ability and cannot match others from a more privileged background. At Laughology we believe it is unacceptable for children's ability, and in turn their success in later life, to be determined by their social circumstances. Children and young people who grow up in areas of deprivation can be hindered by the belief that they only live by the cards they have been dealt. Their perception of themselves and their opportunities are limited in response to their social environment. Increasing economic struggles and observable gaps in extra learning resources only adds to this perception. Leaving the to not believe in their own abilities. The cycle needs to be broken, ability is not the sole preserve of the privileged.
Workplaces need to be aware of this too. Our unconscious bias impacts on who we choose to work with in our teams. Awareness, education and training in this area will only prove profitable to the economy as a whole in the long term. Diversity in the workforce and in senior teams makes a company more flexible in its thinking and richer in terms of audience understanding and reach.
To find out more about how we can work with schools and workplaces to help tackle this issue take a look at what we do.