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Education is the key to breaking out of poverty trap, says report

23 September 2014

A lack of education is the factor most likely to hold poor people back, says a new report released today

The report, from the Office for National Statistics, says that:

  • people are 7.5 times more likely to have a low educational outcome themselves if their father had a low level of education
  • people with low attainment are 11 times as likely to be severely materially deprived as those with a high level of education
  • people with a low level of educational attainment are almost five times as likely to be in poverty now as those with a high level of education.

Commenting on the report, the University and College Union (UCU) said it was a timely reminder to all politicians of the importance of education and its potential to interrupt intergenerational poverty. The union urged the three party leaders to use conference season to set out their plans for education.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'There is no simple answer to social mobility, but this report lays bare just how important a role education plays in raising aspirations and giving people a fairer chance of progressing in life. Poor children are far more likely to grow up to become poor adults without access to education.

'We hope Ed Miliband will use his speech today to set out what the Labour party will do to ensure people from all backgrounds aspire to and have access to, a high-quality education from early years through to university. Nick Clegg and David Cameron must also reveal their plans. Education is too important an issue to be put to one side in the lead up to the election.'

Last updated: 10 December 2015