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Can community-based interventions on aspirations raise young people’s attainment?

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Against the background of the ‘Inspiring Communities’ programme to raise ‘communitylevel’ educational aspirations in England, this article considers whether the existing evidence about place and aspirations suggests that it will be beneficial. We address three questions: Do neighbourhoods have an influence on educational attainment? Are ‘community level’ aspirations a mechanism by which neighbourhoods affect individual aspirations? Is there evidence that aspirations are lower in poor neighbourhoods? The article suggests that the available evidence does not lead to firm conclusions; a key problem is that few studies have measured aspirations at a neighbourhood level. It suggests that limited spending on a pilot is a reasonable response. However, aspirations are shaped by a wide range of other influences. This suggests that any interventions on ‘community’ aspirations’ should be conjoined with other programmes to support schools and to address inequalities between neighbourhoods.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/32307/

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