Building The Evidence Base

New research from the Sutton Trust evidences “a staggering recognition among teachers, employers and young people on how important life skills are to the success of young people”.

The report “Life Lessons” calls for more to be done to enable every state school to embed the development of life skills in their ethos, curriculum and extra-curricular activities.

Sir Peter Lampl, Founder of the Sutton Trust and Chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, says “Young people from less well-off backgrounds in particular don’t have access to the benefits that enrichment activities outside the class room can bring, such as debating, volunteering and the performing arts.  We need to ensure that we close these gaps in access, so that life skills can be harnessed as a driver of social mobility”.

Envision is just one of three case studies providing examples of the sort of activity which fills this gap.  The report calls for more evidence-based support for schools to support the development of life skills.

The report provides a wealth of evidence, with the following examples highlighting the need for more programmes like Envision:

  • 94% of employers say that life skills are as important as academic results for the success of young people, with nearly one third saying even more so, however 68% say 18-year-old school leavers they’re looking to recruit don’t have the skills for the workplace.
  • Extra-curricular activities can contribute to the development of life skills, but there are substantial socio-economic gaps in access to these activities.  Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to take up activities than their better off peers (46% compared to 66% with just half of those receiving free school meals taking part.  This is concerning as it is disadvantaged groups that have most to gain from taking part in such activities.
  • As secondary pupils get older they value life-skills more, but report lower levels of provision, particularly in Years 10 and 11 when pupils are approaching their GCSEs.

Read the full report here.