Date of release: Monday, May 9, 2016

Betraying a generation': Education professor's scathing verdictThe failure of education to deliver on its promises of upward social mobility and a brighter future is the theme of a new book by a University of Greenwich academic.

Patrick Ainley, the university's Professor of Education & Training, says: "Young people study harder but learn less, running up a down-escalator of devalued qualifications to become overqualified but underemployed, unable to move forward with their lives.

"From primary to post-graduate schools – funny phonics through endless testing to phoney apprenticeships, and the world's most costly university fees – English education is now driven by the economy and politics, 'dumbing down' rather than 'wising up'."

The book, Betraying a Generation: How Education is Failing Young People, concludes by suggesting how schools, colleges and universities can begin to contribute towards a more meaningful and productive society.

It has attracted several highly positive reviews. Danny Dorling, University of Oxford, writes: "If you need to know what is really going on in the education and labour markets, I recommend this book." Stewart Ranson, University of Warwick, says: "A brilliant book, forensic analysis, supported by research and evidence, to reveal powerfully the present state of education. The book is lucidly written, a scintillating success."

A seminar and book launch, including a presentation by Professor Ainley, take place on Tuesday 17 May from 5.15pm at UCL Institute of Education, Clarke Hall, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL. The event is free to attend, but prior registration is helpful: contact richard.arnold@ucl.ac.uk to book a place.

A member of the university's Faculty of Education & Health, Professor Ainley has taught in schools, colleges and universities, and is widely published on the topics of youth and education. A Visiting Fellow at New College, Oxford, his books include From School to YTS (1988) and Lost Generation? (2010).

Story by Public Relations