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Disadvantaged: Crime

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what analysis his Department has made of the Institute of Education research indicating a correlation between educational inequality and crime; and if he will make a statement. (193056)

This research was conducted by the DCSF-funded Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning (WBL), based at the Institute of Education. It is part of a body of research we have supported over the last eight years focusing on the impact of education, and its distribution, on societal well-being and social cohesion.

Addressing the distribution of social outcomes created by lack of opportunity has been, and remains, a key objective for Government. The Children’s Plan, recently published by the Department, restates the need to close the gap in educational achievement for children from disadvantaged families, alongside achieving world class standards. As an outcome of last year’s comprehensive spending review, Government have announced a public sector agreement to

“Narrow the gap in educational achievement between children from low income and disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers”

(PSA 11). This PSA has stretching performance indicators associated with closing the gaps at each age stage of learning. By closing the gap in educational attainment we expect not only to deliver more fairness in opportunity to individuals, but to benefit the quality of society too, measured by indicators such as the incidence of crime.