Youth disengagement is a big and costly problem: the current generation of 16-18 year olds not in education, employment or training (‘NEET’) will cost society an estimated £31bn over their lifetime, including the costs of unemployment, to health services and to the criminal justice system. A shocking 1 in 10 children are entering school without the tools to benefit from their education and little chance of success.

Policies to tackle this problem have had limited success. This report shows that what has been missing is a properly-resourced, early intervention approach to tackle disengagement amongst younger children who lack the skills they need – skills like concentration, good behaviour and connecting with others – and who are at risk of ending up as tomorrow’s generation of NEETs.

Drawing on original analysis of the Millennium Cohort Study – which surveyed the families of over 15,000 five year olds – it sets out recommendations in the areas of parenting and early years provision for 0-5 years, behaviour and exclusion, special educational needs and spreading evidence-based, preventative practice in schools.