The Impetus Manifesto

Our 2024 manifesto is a collection of evidence-based ideas aimed at transforming the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. It’s also a call to action, urging the next government to place these young people at the forefront of their policy agenda.

March 2024

Outcomes for young people who experience multiple suspensions

A new report published by the Education Policy Institute, commissioned by Impetus, identifies a “suspension grades gap", with young people who experience even a single suspension, or temporary removal from secondary school, less likely to pass crucial GCSEs in English and maths.

March 2024

Applying an impact led theory of change to access and participation

Higher education providers are now in the process of developing their new access and participation plans, to meet regulatory requirements. We worked with one of the universities that took part in the first wave of this work, the University of Bath, to explore how a clearer understanding of their Theory of Change can lead to better programmes and better outcomes for people facing disadvantage. This paper sets out our lessons, both for universities preparing their plans, and for policymakers in the higher education sector.

January 2024

The Young Person's Guarantee

This paper emerges from a broad series of conversations, discussions, and consultative sessions and is shaped by a range of experts, organisations, and perspectives. On this basis, we propose a transformational offer for our young people: The Young Person’s Guarantee.

September 2023

Listening to, and learning from, parents in the attendance crisis

Attendance in schools is in crisis, with profound consequences both for our education system and for society more widely. For decades, daily attendance at school - by every pupil, every day, throughout term time - has been part of the social contract between schools and families. This is no longer the case.

September 2023

The Future of Tutoring

This new research reveals that aside from its benefits for catching up on lost learning, tutoring can also support the post pandemic crisis of pupil mental health and attendance.

July 2023

Backing the best - Our charity partners 2023

At Impetus, we build sector-leading charities. We work shoulder-to-shoulder with them to help make them stronger, delivering better results year after year, to more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

June 2023

Catalysing Social and Emotional Learning in Schools in England: A policy and practice review

A new “state of the nation” report in partnership with the Centre for Education and Youth on social and emotional learning, which sets out what’s happening in practice and where we could go next.

December 2022

National Tutoring Programme: The missing middle

The central mission of the NTP – to reach pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds – risks being missed unless the Department for Education addresses key gaps in the programme.

October 2022

NTP tuition partners: Transformational not transactional

A package of reforms that must be implemented by the Government in order for the National Tutoring Programme to reach the thousands of children who have fallen behind at school.

July 2022

Youth Hubs - a blueprint for success

Impetus, together with our charity partner Resurgo, worked closely with the West Midlands Combined Authority, Department for Work and Pensions and local service providers to design a service that is truly beneficial to those it’s meant to reach. The process has given us unique insight into how Youth Hubs can add value to the employment landscape, taking into account local issues and challenges. We hope the resulting document can act as a blueprint for Youth Hubs design across the country and give a fighting chance to all young people who are ready to take the next step towards employment.

January 2022

Time well spent?

Examining the impact of the length of the school day on attainment

November 2021

Post-qualifications admissions (PQA): system overhaul isn’t a silver bullet

Impetus believes fair access must be at the centre of the sector-wide debate about whether the UK higher education system should move to a system of post-qualification admissions (PQA) system. The access gap between young people who are free school meal eligible and their better-off peers is at its highest since 2007. Yet the two proposals on the table risk massive upheaval that would distract from the biggest barriers to access - like attainment- rather than addressing them.

September 2021

Levelling up for young people: building an Opportunity Guarantee

Over the past few months, the Youth Employment Group (YEG) has been working together to address the challenges posed by the COVID crisis on young people’s prospects. The YEG’s new paper, ‘Levelling Up for young people: Building an Opportunity Guarantee’ brings together this collaborative effort, establishing a three-stage approach which is broken down between now and early 2022.

July 2021

Five Reasons to extend 'Kickstart'

the Youth Employment Group secretariat believes that there is a compelling case to extend the Kickstart scheme beyond December 2021. This policy paper sets out five reasons why an extension to Kickstart would be the right decision for young people around the country.

February 2021

Impetus 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review submission

This submission to the 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review provides solutions that secure a place for young people at the centre of the government’s post-COVID recovery agenda and contribute to the nation’s future economic growth.

November 2020

Securing a place for young people in the nation’s economic recovery: Final recommendations from the Youth Employment Group (YEG)

The YEG recommends that clear objectives are set to monitor progress in supporting young people during the economic crisis and beyond.

September 2020

No time to lose: getting people into work quickly

This paper builds on the previous proposals of Learning & Work Institute and the Institute for Employment Studies, but focuses specifically on how to get those who have recently lost their job (or may soon do so) into new work as quickly as possible. Impetus' Director of Policy, Sam Windett, was an expert contributor.

June 2020

Securing a place for young people in the nation’s economic recovery: a response to COVID-19

Supporting young people’s employment opportunities – in the immediate and medium term – will be key to ensuring that the UK makes a rapid and full economic recovery from COVID-19. This short briefing note has been prepared by the lead organisations of the Youth Employment Group: Youth Futures Foundation, Impetus, Youth Employment UK, The Princes Trust and the Institute for Employment Studies.

May 2020

Youth Jobs Gap: The impact of English and maths

English and maths are often described as the most important subjects in education, but just how important are they? The ninth report in our Youth Jobs Gap series reveals for the first time the extent to which English and maths GCSEs lead to better outcomes for young people.

April 2020

Young, vulnerable, and increasing – why we need to start worrying more about youth unemployment

Written in partnership with the Youth Futures Foundation, this report looks at the trends and responses to youth employment since the last recession. It shows that those most likely to be out of work and education are some of the most vulnerable young people, and that the headline numbers overlook some pressing issues such as underemployment.

April 2020

Youth Jobs Gap: The Employment Gap in London

The eighth report in our Youth Jobs Gap series, this one focused on London, finds that the rate of young people out of education, employment and training in London is consistently higher than the national average. But it's not all bad news: young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in London are more than twice as likely to go onto higher education than their peers in other regions.

February 2020

Youth Jobs Gap: Benchmarking Resurgo

Benchmarking Resurgo shows that the issues raised in our Youth Jobs Gap series are not inevitable. Young people who take part in Resurgo's Spear Programme move into employment at twice the national rate, showing that Resurgo Spear gets more young people into work and gets them there quicker.

February 2020

Manifesto Policy Briefing: A Fair Chance

Ahead of the general election on 12 December 2019, we're asking all political parties to give disadvantaged young people a fair chance, in primary through to higher education and into the labour market.

November 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: West Midlands Report Launch Briefing

Impetus and KPMG held a roundtable in Birmingham to launch Youth Jobs Gap Research Briefing 5: The Employment Gap in the West Midlands. This paper summarises these discussions and presents recommendations for action in the West Midlands to stakeholders to work on together over the coming months.

November 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: North West Report Launch Briefing

Impetus and KPMG held a roundtable in Manchester to launch Youth Jobs Gap Research Briefing 4: The Employment Gap in the North West. This paper both summarises these discussions and presents recommendations for action in the North West to stakeholders to work on together over the coming months.

November 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: The long-term NEET population

In our Youth jobs Gap series, we have looked at NEET rates both nationally and regionally. This report looks longer-term, at what happens when a young person becomes NEET, and how this affects disadvantaged young people compared to their better-off peers.

September 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: The Employment Gap in the West Midlands

Our Youth Jobs Gap series looks at NEET rates, higher education, and apprenticeships across the country. Our reports also look at differences between regions and within regions. This fifth report looks at the West Midlands region.

July 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: The Employment Gap in the North West

The first three reports in the Youth Jobs Gap series have looked at NEET rates, higher education, and apprenticeships. These national reports have also looked at differences between regions – but differences within the regions are often greater than the differences between regions. This fourth report looks at the North West region – drilling down to the local authority area level, including the combined authority areas of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region.

June 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: Apprenticeships

This Youth Jobs Gap report uses the Longitudinal Education Outcomes data to reveal how disadvantaged young people are accessing and progressing in apprenticeships, including differences between regions in England.

June 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: Higher Education

Higher Education is one of the most topical issues in politics, with the UK government’s post-18 education and funding review (the Augur review) due to report back imminently. For the first time, this Youth Jobs Gap report analyses the Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO) data, showing the clearest picture of disadvantaged young people and their access to higher education to date, including differences between different regions in England.

May 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: Establishing the Employment Gap

This first report from Impetus' Youth Jobs Gap series shows that there is an employment gap between disadvantaged young people and their better-off peers. This report draws on newly available government data to explore the employment outcomes of young people in England.

April 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: Methodology

The Youth Jobs Gap research series uses new Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) data to present new insights into disadvantaged young people’s transition from compulsory education into employment. The technical details in this document are important to fully understand how we've used LEO for the Youth Jobs Gap series.

April 2019

Advancing Access

If the current rate of progress on access to higher education continues, the access gap will eventually be closed in the year 2148. We set out our response to the OFS's new approach to regulating access and participation.

December 2018

Backing the best: Our work with IntoUniversity

This impact report tells the story of our 11-year partnership with IntoUniversity, totalling nearly £4 million worth of investment team hours, pro bono projects and funding. With our help, IntoUniversity are helping more and more disadvantaged young people – who are half as likely to get a university place than their peers – beat the odds.

November 2018

Backing the best: Our work with The Access Project

In 2014, just over half of the pupils The Access Project was working with were from disadvantaged backgrounds and of these, 66% applied to a selective university and 33% got in. By 2017, following four years of partnership with Impetus, over 90% of pupils came from disadvantaged backgrounds and of those, 85% applied to a selective university and 53% got in. This story reveals how they did that.

November 2018

Backing the best: Our work with Action Tutoring

As a result of their partnership with Impetus, Action Tutoring re-designed their tutoring programme – making it longer, with a structured curriculum, baseline testing and regular monitoring – to see whether this would drive up impact. This impact story reveals what happened and what we’ve been doing with them to take their programme to the next level.

November 2018

Backing the best: Our work with Resurgo

When Impetus came on board in 2010, Resurgo’s main priority was to expand beyond the two centres it was operating in Hammersmith and Chelsea. Today, with Impetus' support, they have improved the effectiveness of their programme so that they are getting more young people into work, for longer, and they have expanded to eight centres across London.

November 2018

Understanding & Sharing What Works: A Profile of Impetus-PEF

The Center for Effective Philanthropy draws out what works about our Driving Impact approach to working with charities.

November 2018

Funding for the future

With the government’s review of post-18 education ongoing, and most of the debate seemingly centring on tuition fees, we must remember that widening participation work is essential to helping more disadvantaged young people access higher education.

June 2018

Magic Breakfast: Preparing for scale

Magic Breakfast recently won a £24 million tender to deliver breakfast provision to children at 1,770 new schools in poor areas across England – a big increase from the 485 schools they currently serve. Impetus has been working with Magic Breakfast to tackle the challenge of how they can maintain their impact at a larger scale. This impact briefing reveals how.

April 2018

A free lunch

Who should be entitled to free school meals? With the introduction of universal credit to replace several benefits, the Department for Education has recently asked this very question. This policy briefing details our response, including concerns about the quality of data in the future

March 2018

Invested in Empathetic Challenge: A Profile of Impetus-PEF

In the first independent case study written about Impetus, Leap of Reason commends both our methods and approach to making charities more effective.

September 2017

Youth Jobs Index 2017

Progress in tackling youth unemployment has ground to a halt. Our second Youth Jobs Index has found that the number of young people spending over a year not earning or learning has increased.

June 2017

Life After School: Confronting the crisis

This report reveals the failure to give young people who fail their English and maths GCSEs the first time around with a second chance to succeed – irrespective of their background or their provider. Part of our Life After School campaign.

March 2017

Closing the gap in university access: a response to the DfE Green Paper ‘Schools that work for everyone’

Disadvantaged young people are half as likely to university compared to their better off peers. This briefing explores how universities can help improve school attainment and widen access to university.

December 2016

Driving Impact: helping charities transform the lives of disadvantaged young people

Charities do good work, but there’s room for improvement. Our Driving Impact paper shares what we’ve learnt from our charities about impact. This is a guide for funders, commissioners and charities to deliver impactful programmes for young people.

October 2016

Defining disadvantage: a response to the DfE Green Paper ‘Schools that work for everyone’

What does ‘disadvantaged’ young people mean? There are different ways of measuring disadvantage – from free school meals to household income. We use ‘Ever 6 FSM’ – pupils who have been looked after, in care, or eligible for free school meals in the past six years.

October 2016

Anxiety and Accountability – Impact Leadership in the Youth Sector

It’s tough at the top – whatever sector you’re in. But in the social sector, including the youth sector, there are some distinct challenges for leaders. Jenny North, former Director of Policy & Strategy at Impetus, shares her thoughts on impact leadership in this publication – part of the 'Evidence and Impact' essay collection from The Centre for Youth Impact.

July 2016

New insights into improving outcomes for at risk youth: the Newcastle experience

In Newcastle, young people in care are more likely not to be in education, employment or training (NEET) by 19. Part of our Life After School campaign, this research shows that having good GCSEs helps to prevent young people becoming NEET.

June 2016

Youth Jobs Index 2016

More than a million young people are spending six months or more not earning or learning. This has a knock-on effect for the rest of their lives, reducing their choices and prospects.

May 2016

The road most travelled? The 16-19 journey through education and training

This report reveals the journey of 16-19 year olds through education and training: who they are, how they perform, and where they go. Part of our Life After School campaign.

March 2016

Delivering the promise of social outcomes: the role of the performance analyst

Organisations working with young people often mean well. But do they do well? This report is about performance management and features organisations who’ve used their data to help leaders make decisions, managers support their staff and service delivery teams to improve the lives of the young people.

February 2015

Out of sight: how we lost track of thousands of NEETs and how we can transform their prospects

The government has lost track of over 150,000 young people aged 16-18 in England. For those not in education, employment or training this means they can’t get the support they need. This report highlights that the government’s published statistics don’t show the full picture.

December 2014

Ending the NEET crisis for good: a blueprint for the next prime minister

The large number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs), has been a problem for over a decade. This report provides the case and details of a five-year strategy to ‘make NEETs history’.

October 2014

Building capacity for impact: a report on the capacities needed by the social sector to deliver the aims of the social investment market

Organisations that change young people’s lives – that make a reliable, consistent and predictable impact, have largely been neglected in the social investment sector. This report can help organisations build their capacity to create social change.

September 2014

Ready for Work

Careers services are fractured. What do employers look for? This report uses employers to identify six vital capabilities for young people to be ready for work. It gives service providers, employers, funders and policymakers information to inform their service design and investment decisions.

September 2014

Digging deeper: why white working class boys underachieve and what can be done about it

White British boys on free school meals are the lowest performing group at GCSE. Our charities reflect on their experience with white working class boys, the barriers they face, the successful methods to reach them and whether they can be used by schools.

June 2014

London: a tale of two cities – addressing the youth employment challenge

The youth unemployment rate in London is significantly higher than the national average. Current policies are not doing enough to tackle the root causes of youth unemployment – this report highlights the causes and what needs to be done.

April 2014

The geography of youth unemployment: a route map for change

Young people who leave school with no more than GCSEs are more than twice as likely to be unemployed. This report maps youth unemployment across the UK and the barriers that prevent young people from moving to cities where they have more chance of finding entry-level work.

April 2014

Make NEETs history in 2014

Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) is a major problem in Britain – and it’s not going away on its own. This report analyses the drivers and impact of being NEET and provides steps that the government should take to solve the crisis.

January 2014

The road less travelled: improving the apprenticeship pathway for young people

Social care is an example of a growing sector with significant skill demands. More high quality apprenticeships could offer young people a strong vocational alternative to academic routes into work.

November 2013