And Lesley Ward believes teachers are facing an uphill struggle to raise the aspirations of Britain's poorest children. "Too many pupils expect that they won't succeed because of their background," she said. "Schools do their best to push all their pupils to achieve their potential, but it is heartbreaking. Even some of the brightest youngsters are so lacking in confidence that they are too frightened to move away from their hometown to get a job. The expectations of many deprived children are so limited they can't imagine a life any different from that of their immediate family."