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"He was a hard-working kid from a very supportive family. He was all right at maths until O-level, but not after that" Paul Kitchiner, deputy head of Parmiters School in Watford of his former pupil Nick Leeson, the 28-year-old trader who broke Barings Bank.

"To ensure that all children have the education which will provide them with skills necessary to find employment at a decent level of income is a crucial first step in breaking that vicious circle in which poor children become poor parents with poor children" Education Divides, published yesterday by the Child Poverty Action Group.

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