Why we exist

Why we exist

The problem

We firmly believe that education is the key to social mobility – but educational inequality starts early and cannot be solved in the classroom alone.

  • Over 4.1 million children in the UK are growing up in poverty – 30% of the total child population

  • 1.6 million children in the UK live in housing that is overcrowded, temporary, or dilapidated

  • There are over 700,000 young carers across the UK, sometimes having to care for family members when they should be at school

Over 2 million children in the UK today are estimated to be living in difficult family circumstances. Our monitoring has identified that the vulnerable children and young people we work with are:

  • Twice as likely to have parents that need support with school engagement

  • Twice as likely to have special educational needs

  • Three times as likely to have problems because of family relationships

  • Three times as likely to have child protection and/or safeguarding issues

  • Four times as likely to need support because of mental health issues

  • Four times as likely to have parents that need support with employment, training or education

  • Six times as likely to be affected by domestic violence

  • Nine times as likely to need support because of drug or alcohol abuse problems


The impact

Children with serious challenges at home such as poverty, hunger, or homelessness, don’t go into the classroom on a level playing field with their peers.

Last year, one in nine children (784,375 in total) from primary schools, secondary schools and pupil referral units across England were persistently absent from school.

These children are missing weeks, months and even years of their education, severely affecting their future life chances. And it’s not just their future that is at risk: children not in school are not safe. They are more vulnerable to becoming involved in dangerous behaviours like gang activity, drugs or alcohol:

  • A quarter of school-age offenders have significant school non-attendance records and the majority of school-age offenders progress to become adult offenders

  • 83% of knife possession offenders were persistently absent from school in at least one of the five academic years from 2008/09 to 2012/13

  • Nine out of 10 children in custody had been excluded from school and children excluded from school are overrepresented in Young Offender Institutions and are more likely to be victims of serious violence

The consequences of missing school are clear. At any period during a pupil’s school life, as the level of overall absence increases, the likelihood of achieving five good GCSEs decreases. Educational attainment is identified as the main driver that causes poor children to become poor adults

We work to change that.


The solution

Since 1984, we’ve been working in partnership with schools and families to ensure children have the support they need to thrive and achieve at school. We work with the whole family to build resilience and ensure children’s education is prioritised.

From our dedicated frontline specialists, based in schools, local authorities and communities, to corporate volunteers hosting Aspiration Sessions, and expert training for pastoral professionals, we are national leaders in raising attendance and increasing parental engagement, so that disadvantaged children have better life chances.

“Hopieann Platt provides a lifeline. She works for the charity School-Home Support. As the name suggests, it helps families to ensure their children are in school and learning – even if they’re struggling to make ends meet.”

– John Maguire, BBC Breakfast Reporter