Why our politicians need to focus on supporting young people

    As the local council elections on 2nd May draw closer, candidates in Suffolk have been speaking out about the poor showing of their state schools in the education league tables.

    The county scores very badly at both primary and secondary level and, predictably, the local candidates are trying to blame each other’s political parties for the problem. Unfortunately, the debate just highlights the problems inherent in our current education system and the lack of any solid answers from our politicians.

    The problem with all of the politicking is that it while it goes on, nothing changes and the school pupils continue to suffer from a lack of clarity and support as to their futures. Time is a luxury that is unaffordable in education – the constant disruption that comes with endless, politically-motivated change can have a highly damaging effect on pupils. What is needed is an evidence-based approach that puts the progress of pupils first, not the prospects of candidates in political elections.

    In our report published last year, The Frustration of Aspiration, we made the case that young people where suffering from a unprecedented number of obstacles in trying to make the trying to find work after education. The report also highlighted how where somebody lived had a significant impact upon their prospects for success in later life. The authorities within the county of Suffolk didn’t score very highly and it will take a concerted effort from the successful candidates to improve their performance in the current difficult times.

    The young people of this generation deserve a far better deal than they are getting. Nearly six years on from the start of the financial crisis, they are still suffering from a lack of jobs, a lack of effective skills provision, a lack of affordable housing, and the constant political bickering that has underpinned all of this. They need to be much better prepared for the future that lies ahead of them, which is why our politicians need to focus much more on how to support them, instead of wasting time arguing about who is to blame for the current situation.