UK & World News
Failing Children Expect To 'End Up On Benefits'
Children who fail to make the grade at school are giving up on their dreams and expect to live off state handouts, a new study has revealed.
More than 2,000 young people aged 16 to 25 were questioned as part of the online survey by The Prince's Trust, which found that a third who leave school with poor qualifications expect to "end up on benefits".
One in five "abandon their ambitions" due to a lack of success in the classroom, while those with fewer than five GCSEs are almost twice as likely as their peers to believe that they will "never amount to anything".
The poll also showed one in 10 young people believe their exam results will "always" hold them back. This increases to a quarter (26%) among those who left school with poor grades.
The findings have prompted the Trust to call for more vocational support for those leaving school with few qualifications, to help them into jobs.
Last year, two-fifths of young people across England did not achieve five GCSEs graded A*-C, including English and maths.
Martina Milburn, chief executive of the youth charity, said: "Thousands of young people's ambitions are crushed by exam results each year.
"Many of these young people have faced problems at home or bullying at school, so their exam results don't reflect their true potential.
"It is now more important than ever to invest in vocational support and training for young people who are not academically successful.
"Government, employers and charities must work together to get them into jobs. Without this, thousands will struggle to compete, leaving them hopeless and jobless."
Lucie Russell, director of campaigns and policy at the charity YoungMinds, which works to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people, said some were "growing up in a toxic climate" of bleak employment prospects, exam pressures and a 24/7 online culture.
Last month Prime Minister David Cameron hailed a "rigorous, engaging and tough" new national curriculum, which he said was critical to Britain's future economic success.
He described the changes, due to be introduced in September 2014, as a "revolution in education".