We target young people aged 16 to 18 because they are on the threshold of adulthood and for many disadvantaged young people this is the time when they may not get the support, encouragement or advice that will help them to go on to, or even consider, university or professional careers. They may come from a family where no one has previously been to university, may not know people who have a professional career, may lack knowledge and confidence about how to write a CV or a university application and they may be interested in the environment but not know how to develop this into a career.
We are interested in supporting young people who lack adult support and interest in their future – for some young people their family cannot provide that extra push to help them aspire and excel often because the family is struggling with financial problems, or difficulties such as domestic violence, substance misuse, or mental and physical health problems. The young people we work with often experience a ‘poverty of aspiration’ and lack confidence or belief in themselves. They don’t necessarily turn away from opportunity – they often don’t know what opportunities exist within their reach or think it is not possible for them.
Evidence of Need
clouddog targets London boroughs with high levels of deprivation – Camden, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Westminster – and have built partnerships with schools and organisations in these boroughs.
We work with young people who may not be considering further education or professional employment prospects. Statistics tell us that 60% of 19 years old in Islington don’t have a level 3 qualification and the figure is 50% for Tower Hamlets. In Hackney 45% of pupils don’t have English as their first language and a third of households are single parent families. We know that 21.6% of children in London were living in workless households in 2011.
Research tells us that young people experiencing disadvantages such as poverty, living in workless households and dependent on benefits, and with little adult support at home are more likely to under achieve academically. We believe it is also likely that they will have no experience or knowledge of life choices such as going to university and no access to adult support outside of hard pressed schools to encourage them. Employers say that they value skills such as self-management and problem solving yet young people rarely get the practice to develop such skills.
We want to break cycles of deprivation so that a young person’s background does not dictate their future.
By targeting specific boroughs we can focus our work within economically deprived areas.
For example in Hackney:
- 37% of young people are affected by deprivation as a result of living in households dependent on benefits.
- One third of households with children are single parent families. Seven percentage points higher than in London as a whole and 11 percentage points more than in England & Wales.
- Only 18 per cent of 18 year olds who attended school in Hackney went on to higher education in 2007/08, 8 per cent below the rate for London and 3 per cent below the rate for England.
- 68 per cent of Hackney residential areas are among the ten percent most deprived areas in the whole of England.
- Not having English a first language can be an educational disadvantage, 45% of secondary school pupils do not have English as their first language.
- Unemployment in the area is 11.3%. The national average is 7.9%
For example Islington:
- is now the eighth most deprived borough in England and fourth most deprived in London.
- 62% of Islington residents live in areas of the borough ranked amongst the most deprived 10% in the country.
- Unemployment was above the national rate at 3.8 per cent in September 2007. Youth unemployment is above London and national benchmarks 5
- almost 60% of 19 year-olds do not have a Level 3 qualification
In the areas in which we operate, Camden, Newham, Hackney, Islington and Haringey all fall respectively in 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th place within the top 10 areas where 16year old students did not obtain 5 GCSE’s at A –C level.
Furthermore the percentage of 19 year olds without a Level 3 qualification is more than 50% in Harringey and Tower Hamlets.
Schools & Teachers
If you think your school could benefit from the clouddog programme contact us for details on how to register.