Imprisonment of young adults

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office for national statistics

News, stories and data visualisation

27 January 2023

The links between young people being imprisoned, pupil background and school quality

A graphic showing icons of justice scales, handcuffs, books, and school stationery items

Today we published research showing pupils who went to schools with a lower Ofsted grade are slightly more likely to be imprisoned as young adults.

But school quality has only a small effect and Ofsted ratings are far from the full story.

We look at issues of poverty, growing up in care, and multiple other factors as to why someone can be more likely to receive an immediate custodial sentence. Lower-rated schools tend to have more pupils who are already in these disadvantaged situations.

Data records can also only show us so much. In a new style of article, we include the thoughts of people working with at-risk students and their reflections on the challenges young people face that can't be captured in numbers.

Read the full article