Too Young to Fail

Giving all children a fair start in life

October 2013


Too many children in the UK fail before they’ve even started in life.

Too Young to Fail shows that, through no fault of their own, poorer children as young as seven are on course for poorer life chances.

While progress has been made over the past decade in improving the achievement of the poorest children, we must recognise the scale of the remaining challenge. Seven-year-old children from poor families are still consistently more likely to fall behind in critical skills such as reading.

The impact on those children’s life chances is huge, trapping many in a cycle of poverty. Modelling carried out for this report also shows the enduring cost to the nation’s economy in wasted talent.

Meanwhile, our poll of parents of young children finds that, following the global financial crisis and subsequent recession, the living standards squeeze is making it harder for parents to support their children’s education.

As this report shows, early-years provision, support for the parents of young children and a greater focus on primary education are vital for children’s learning and their future lives. Too Young to Fail calls on all the main political parties to commit to specific policies in their 2015 manifestos that will ensure no child falls behind in primary school.

Now is the time to set out plans to ensure all children have a fair start in life.

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