Sharon Davies, CEO of Young Enterprise

The FTT Education Datalab report, "Who’s Left 2019" released this morning (5 Dec) shows that ‘off-rolling’ hides the true extent of the disadvantage gap in schools, and that low-achieving pupils are not being recorded as they are removed from rolls to raise GCSE results.

Analysis by FTT Education Datalab found that 24,600 students disappeared from school rolls this year compared with 22,000 the year before.

Sharon Davies, CEO of Young Enterprise, says providing access to financial and entrepreneurial education is the key to reducing the disadvantage gap and providing young people with the confidence and skills they need to thrive:

"The results of the report today only emphasise how much worse the situation is for the most disadvantaged students in our schools than we thought. It is crucial that young people and families with the least access to social capital are not left behind at such an early age – they must be given the additional support and confidence they need to succeed in their education and careers.

"The young people that our Young Enterprise mentors work with come from a variety of backgrounds, and many lack the confidence in themselves to succeed in school.

"The Young Enterprise programmes are often a turning point in these young people’s lives, where they improve their self-belief, go onto achieve in school and onwards in their careers.

"We truly believe that an enterprise education is central to not only a successful education but also to developing a well-rounded, confident and resilient mindsets in young people who are enabled make a positive contribution to their communities and wider society.  To truly reduce the gap that the report has brought to light today, we must make sure we are providing all young people with equal access to opportunities to build skills they need to succeed."

Sharon Davies is a highly experienced youth worker, and worked with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds for over 15 years- before taking on a national role with Young Enterprise.  Having left home at 16, she was working in a Kwik Save at 19 when she was spotted by a youth worker who noticed her savvy and calm interactions with misbehaving teenagers outside the shop. The youth worker then encouraged her to go into youth work herself- a turning point for her own future.

Young Enterprise is a national charity that has helped over four million school aged children access key enterprise, employability and financial education.  Every year they  work with 315,000 young people between the ages of 5 to 18, and train 3,200 teachers in both enterprise and financial education, with the help of more than 6,000 volunteers and 3,500 businesses, in order to empower them and enable them to build successful futures. 

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