What is socio-economic disadvantage?

Less obvious than racism and other forms of discrimination, the lack of awareness and understanding about socio-economic disadvantage can lead to students feeling excluded from our community.

Although many young people are less aware of a class structure operating within the UK today, the legacy of the traditional British class system (Upper, Middle and Working class) remains a feature of our society. Socio-economic groups today are more complex, relating to a mixture of wealth (earned or inherited), earning power, type of work, as well as education.

Income inequality in the UK has increased enormously over the past 50 years, which means that people in the highest income groups have very different lives and life opportunities to those in the lowest.  In the past, social class largely determined the type of work you went into, partly because the types of work were representative of a different kind of economy, based on manufacturing and associated industries, such as mining.    There was little movement between classes.  Developments in the late twentieth and twenty-first century have created massive change in the economy and  workplace.  Changes in education gave young people the opportunity to choose a career, rather than slot into class expectations.