The corrosive consequences of poverty on young peoples’ learning and attainment in the United Kingdom (UK) are well documented (e.g. Hills et al. 2010; McKinney, 2014; Raffo et al., 2009). Although recent government policy in the UK has consistently identified the pernicious effects of disadvantage, education remains unequal (Beckett, 2016; Smyth & Wrigley, 2013).
Locating the problem of poverty as an issue of ‘social mobility’, as is the case in central UK government discourse and education policy in England, is very different to addressing the root causes of economic and social disadvantage (Thompson, 2017).