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Poor grades cause young people to give up on ambitions, says report

One in three school leavers with poor grades believe they'll end up on benefits. That's according to a survey for The Prince's Trust, which also found around one in five have "abandoned their ambitions" due to a lack of success in the classroom. The charity claims that children who fail to make the grade at school are giving up on their dreams and expect to live off state handouts. More than 2,000 young people aged 16 to 25 were questioned as part of the online survey, which also found that those with fewer than five GCSEs are almost twice as likely as their peers to believe that they will "never amount to anything". The poll also showed one in 10 young people believe their exam results will "always" hold them back. This increases to a quarter (26%) among those who left school with poor grades. Jamie Brett, 22, left school with very few qualifications but now works for The Prince's Trust

He tells Premier some teenagers are always going to struggle at school:

But speaking to Premier's Victoria Laurence on the News Hour, Tony Sewell from Generating Genius accused the Trust of not asking the right questions:

The survey also revealed that those who left school with few qualifications are twice as likely as their peers to say that they "struggled to concentrate on schoolwork due to family problems"  and that their "homelife was so stressful that they struggled to focus". They are also significantly less likely to have had access to a computer, the internet or a quiet place to do their schoolwork at home.

Martina Milburn, Chief Executive of The Prince's Trust, said:

"Thousands of young people's ambitions are crushed by exam results each year.

"Many of these young people have faced problems at home or bullying at school, so their exam results don't reflect their true potential. 

"It is now more important than ever to invest in vocational support and training for young people who are not academically successful.

"Government, employers and charities must work together to get them into jobs. Without this, thousands will struggle to compete, leaving them hopeless and jobless."

Last year, two-fifths of young people across England did not achieve five GCSEs graded A*-C, including English and Maths.

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