The Let's Talk open survey took place between November 2021 and May 2022. This is a summary of the responses and the demographics of those that responded. There was a separate survey aimed at people who work with young people in the borough, which is also summarised here.
Find out more about resident opinions on inequality in Islington.
"In 10 years' time what kind of place would you like Islington to be?"
- A greener, cleaner Islington, including more and well-maintained parks, green space and trees, cleaner air and less pollution, less litter and more recycling
- A strong(er) sense of community, a diverse, vibrant, inclusive, fair and equal borough, with less gentrification and development
- A safe borough with less crime
- Affordable, fairer housing, including social housing, affordable rent and rent controls, better and fairer provision and an end to homelessness
- Other aspirations included less traffic, and improved transport and infrastructure.
Priorities for improving life in Islington
|Priority||Percentage of survey responses|
|Reducing anti-social behaviour (ASB)||55%|
|Initiatives for young people||50%|
|Cleaner streets and greener spaces||49%|
|Initiatives to support people's mental health||43%|
|Well-paid jobs with prospects||40%|
|Multicultural community events and spaces||33%|
|Tackling the climate emergency locally||29%|
Find out who responded to the Let's Talk Islington survey.
Survey among professionals working with children and young people
From February to May 2022, professionals working with children and young people and one parent responded to an online survey, sharing their observations of how inequality impacts young people, as well as more specific topics such as persistent absence, special educational needs (SEN) inclusion, fixed-term exclusions and supporting students at risk of being not in education, experience or training (NEET).
We engaged with staff who work with children and young people across the following age ranges:
- Early Years (under 5s)
- Early Help (school age to 19)
Where do you see inequality in the lives of the young people you work with?
Many of the respondents saw high levels of poverty in young peoples' lives, which impacted several areas including:
- Poor housing conditions and a stressful home life
- Access to cultural experiences and opportunities beyond the classroom
- Access to support
- Aspirations and self-belief.
Others highlighted the racial inequality faced by young people, experiencing racial discrimination and micro-aggressions. They observed many knock-on effects such as a 'poverty of aspiration', poor academic outcomes, and a disinterest in education. They also spoke about the relationship between poverty, poor nutrition, and children’s growth and ability to perform well in an educational setting.
What could be done to make Islington a more equal borough for young people and support the most disadvantaged?
- Provide more services for young people such as youth centres, drama, sport and arts, accessible for all, including those from a low-income background.
- Increase access to safe places.
- Ensure all young people have access and exposure to cultural experiences and opportunities.
- Invest in early intervention and prevention; early help support needs to be continued to a high quality.
- Offer free school meals, breakfast clubs and holiday clubs; act on the stigma of these offers.
- Work together to stop racism within education and create more diverse management teams.
- Proactively identify and support young carers and young people facing adverse situations. Ensure staff understand the root causes of challenging behaviour.
What do you think would help reduce persistent absence – what would make children and young people come to school every day?
- Provide enough support networks for young people at school and extend those support systems to parents.
- Create a culture of understanding around issues children face at home which influence attendance, including adverse childhood experiences and caring responsibilities.
- Create an interesting curriculum and encourage alternative learning pathways.
Other suggestions included smaller classrooms, setting goals for young people, better support for young people with SEN, and access to free meals in school.
The increased demand of children with SEN remains a significant factor – what could we do to support schools manage this better?
86% of respondents worked with students with special educational needs. They suggested increased training, funding, classroom support and specialised services, and working more with parents and other agencies.
What would be a solution to fixed term exclusion?
Staff spoke about the importance of increased prevention and behaviour support in schools. They had different perspectives on the effectiveness of trauma-informed approaches in practice.
What can we do to improve support for those at risk of becoming not in education, experience or training (NEET)?
Staff highlighted the importance of providing young people with different pathways, practical and life skills training, and emotional support and encouragement.
Who responded to our Let's Talk Islington survey
- Female: 43%
- Male*: 28%
- Non-binary: 1%
- Prefer to self-describe: 0.1%
- Prefer not to say/missing: 28%
- No: 69%
- Yes: 1%
- Prefer not to say/missing: 30%
- Heterosexual: 51%
- Gay/Lesbian: 5%
- Bisexual: 3%
- Prefer not to say/missing: 40%
Annual household income
- Less than £20,000: 13%
- £20-39,000: 11%
- £40-59,000: 9%
- £60-99,000: 8%
- £100,000+: 6%
- Prefer not to say/missing: 54%
Index of multiple deprivation
- 1 (most deprived): 11%
- 2: 20%
- 3: 24%
- 4: 9%
- 5 (least deprived): 0.2%
- Prefer not to say/missing: 35%
- White*: 42%
- Black: 8%
- Asian: 5%
- Mixed*: 5%
- Other: 4%
- Prefer not to say/missing: 35%
- Under 16: 2%
- 16-24*: 4%
- 25-44*: 26%
- 45-64: 27%
- 65+: 13%
- Prefer not to say/missing: 27%
- No disability: 45%
- Any disability: 24%
- Prefer not to say/missing: 31%
* This notes that these demographics were underrepresented in the survey compared to the borough's actual demographics, not including those who preferred not to describe their characteristics.
Let's Talk Islington
To help create a more equal Islington by 2030, the Let's Talk discussions with our communities helped us understand the challenges ahead for all
What you said
Read more about what participants said and did when they met, talked to and discussed with Let's Talk Islington
Meet the Inequality Taskforce and find out their recommendations for the borough to help make it equal for all
What happens next
Let's Talk Islington is now complete but what we have learned from it will inform our Islington Together 2030 plan