In this report we go much further in illuminating the basic skills problem, examining the lives of 34-year-olds with Entry level literacy and numeracy, with particular emphasis on adults whose skills are at Entry 2 or below. The results give a disturbing picture of limited life chances. The trajectory of disadvantage begins early, characterised by poor family circumstances, limited educational achievement and low aspirations. But it is by no means inevitable. Many individuals who start their lives on an ’exclusion path’ are of course able, through effective support at home, in the community, at school or college and in the workplace, to turn their lives round.