School engagement and life chances: 15 year olds in transition

30 Jan 2007

This report from stage 7 of the Brotherhood’s longitudinal Life Chances Study, when the young people were aged 15, explores school engagement and transition issues. It reports on interviews with 41 selected fifteen-year-olds and their parents, and contains several illustrative case studies.

These young people's engagement with school (at a critical stage) was influenced by school factors (whether they were doing well academically, had teachers they could talk to, had friends, participated in school sport and other activities) and by family factors (including parental separation and family conflict, parents' employment, and low income). The findings point to important ways for schools and education policy makers to better engage disadvantaged young people, as well as the need for adequate income support for families and for young people who have left home.

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