Improving Northern schools should be ‘top of Damian Hinds’ in-tray’

Tes reports that a new report, published today, argues there is still a significant North-South divide in education, with too many northern young people, especially those from disadvantaged homes, falling behind other parts of the UK.

Disadvantaged teenagers in the North of England score around a grade lower on average in their GCSEs compared to their better-off peers, according to the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) study.

It calls for action to boost the achievement and prospects of the region’s young people, including urging businesses to mentor at least as many Northern schoolchildren as they have employees in the region. Such a move could benefit at least 900,000 young people, aged 11 upwards, living in the North of England.

Data shows the average GCSE score across eight subjects in 2016-17 among teenagers across the North – those living in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber – was 45.1, compared to a national average of 46.1 and an average of 48.6 in London.

Lord Jim O’Neill, NPP vice-chair said new education secretary Damian Hinds should make boosting the performance of Northern schools a top priority.

“For the Northern Powerhouse to succeed and deliver a North that pulls its weight in economic terms the first things we have to sort out are education and skills,” he said.

The report argues that firms should pledge to offer youngsters meaningful careers advice and guidance, including work placements, to help boost skills and provide opportunities to youngsters in the North of England.

Read the full article Improving Northern schools should be ‘top of Damian Hinds’ in-tray’

Are you involved in education in the North of England, if so how do you feel? Should all businesses be made to be more involved with education? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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