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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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