"The lure of popular 'bling bling' and Nike identities impacted on young people's engagement with schooling. A widespread and heavy investment in branded identities ("we're Nike people") shaped pupils' aspirations and engagement with schooling," the report continued.
"Desire for fashionable clothes, trainers and accessories meant that many young people wanted to leave school and start earning money as soon as possible. Higher education did not fit with these desired identities and was seen as an unattractive option that would not allow a young people to (afford to) 'be myself'," it said.
(One may well ask, what else is new. School has never been considered "cool", and dropping out to become a bricklayer or filing clerk, live in a bedsit and spend all one's money on flash clothes and partying all weekend dates back to the end of post-WW2 rationing. (Granted, the Mods who pioneered that did it with a lot more style than the thug-wannabes in gold jewellery and Burberry shellsuits.) Which left the picked-on high-school dorks to actually achieve anything other than a dead-end job later in life.
"Lot of the girls were coming into conflict with schools for 'speaking their mind' - there's a notion of being a strong woman - like Beyonce. This was being interpreted by schools as aggressive."(Do they need Beyonce for that? I thought watching EastEnders would have been enough.)