Education chiefs ‘neglecting’ the North-East as 20 per cent of secondary schools fall below benchmark

The Northern Echo reports that the Government has been accused of neglecting the North-East after the region was shown to have a higher proportion of under-performing secondary schools than anywhere else in England.

More than a fifth of schools (20.9 per cent) fell below new ‘floor’ standards for Key Stage 4 which also took into account new tougher GCSEs in English and maths taken by pupils last summer.

Meanwhile Darlington (42.9 per cent) and Redcar and Cleveland (33.3 per cent) were among ten local authority areas in England with the highest percentage of underperforming schools.

In Darlington – where every school is now an academy – youngsters are generally meeting national standards by year six at primary school, but evidence shows some begin to falter once they reach secondary school.

The organisation Schools NorthEast, which has a network of 1,250 schools, said the Department for Education (DfE) had neglected the North-East and the region’s secondary schools were not operating on a level playing field.

Mike Parker, director of Schools NorthEast, said:“North-East schools are operating with a fraction of the money that London schools enjoy, they face a recruitment crisis and they face some of the most challenging conditions in a sparsely-populated region with widespread poverty which is proven to be the major drag on education attainment.”

Read more Education chiefs ‘neglecting’ the North-East as 20 per cent of secondary schools fall below benchmark

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