Apparently 70% of all statistics are true

Regardless of whether you believe that, it’s certainly true that statistics can give a misleading picture or make you feel like you know less than when you started. But others just jump out of the page and demand your attention.

For example, about half of children in Milton Keynes have a good developmental level by the age of 5, but only 31% of children with free school meals are at the same level (an entitlement to free school meals is a good way to measure relative deprivation level).

Students who have free school meals will get fewer GCSEs. 61% of children in Milton Keynes get 5 or more A*, B or C grades at GCSE. This drops to 41% for those on free school meals.

In 2016, this is unacceptable. There are excellent schools, hardworking teachers and brilliant parents in Milton Keynes. These stats suggest that there could be a link between the amount of money coming into a child’s home and how well they do at school. And if this is true, do the consequences continue into adult life? Will the same be true for their children?

We don’t want everyone to be the same but we do want every child to have the same opportunities in life. This is why regeneration is so important. It’s about creating more opportunities, building on existing strengths and expanding work, training and education. One of the results should be more money coming into a child’s home.

At its heart, regeneration is about people achieving their full potential. And that’s surely what we all should want.