This article is concerned with the role and potential of school as a site for programmes designed to prevent and reduce anti-social and criminal behaviour from young people. It sets out to evaluate the relevance of ‘geodemographic’ analysis, based on the MOSAIC postcode classification system, for the targeting and development of appropriate behaviour support and youth crime prevention programmes in and around schools in different circumstances. We use youth crime data from Nottinghamshire, for a four-and-a-half-year period (1999–2003), as a case study,1 in order to demonstrate the relationship between patterns of youth offending and type of residential neighbourhood. The paper draws upon research from diverse sources in the fields of criminology, education and social policy in order to consider the possible use of geodemographic analysis to target school and neighbourhood programmes. It concludes by presenting some of the tensions in this role for schools.