Is Britain Fairer? Leaving no one behind

by Rebecca Hilsenrath

Published: 25 Oct 2018

Today we have made available our state of the nation report Is Britain Fairer? 2018.

Looking at six areas of everyday life, we assessed over the last three years how fair Britain is, highlighting trends, emerging issues and identifying what action needs to be taken now to improve the life chances of the next generation.

We found that disadvantage in key areas of life is affecting significant groups of people. 

We also found that these hardships are getting worse.

These findings are about real people

Some of the starkest findings include:

  • 3 in 10 children are living in poverty, and more than half of all children from Black African, Pakistani and Bangladeshi households are living in poverty
  • only 12% of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children achieve a good level of secondary school attainment, compared with 64% of White British children
  • disabled people are nearly three times more likely to experience severe material deprivation than non-disabled people

These are just statistics. Let’s remember that these findings are about real people.

You may know people who have resorted to food banks because of dire levels of poverty. You may have friends whose children have been turned away from schools who could not meet their need for extra support. Or have neighbours who have experienced hate crime because of their faith.

This cycle needs to be broken and can be broken. This is why we have made important recommendations in this report that we believe could make a difference and ensure that everyone has a chance to fulfil their potential.

What kind of Britain do we want to live in?

This report is important to all of us as we debate what kind of Britain we want to live in. This question is especially significant to ask now as the political and economic sands are shifting and we prepare to exit the European Union. A modern, successful Britain is one that encourages everyone to thrive.

In spite of these findings, we need to celebrate some important steps taken forward. People have more faith in the criminal justice system; attainment in schools has improved for some groups; more people are in work and participating in politics. We should be proud of this and ensure it continues to be the trend in future years.

There is a mountain of evidence available in the report (and the companion reports Is Scotland Fairer? and Is Wales Fairer?), which we hope will be used by policymakers and others who share our vision for a Britain where everyone can reach their full potential. Please read and share the report and let us know your thoughts.

Is Britain Fairer? No, we are not there yet.