London and south-east children far more likely to go to top universities

Children in London and the south-east are 57% more likely to get into universities ranked among the top third than their counterparts in the north, according to research by the children’s commissioner for England.

Launching a year-long investigation into why many children in the north get left behind, Anne Longfield said the under-performance of secondary schools in the north of England was of “huge concern”, with poorer pupils getting significantly worse GCSE results. “London and the south-east is racing ahead,” she said. Longfield said she wanted to understand why the north-east had the best primary schools in the country, but the lowest adult employment rate: 71.1% compared with 78% in the south-east, according to September figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Of primary schools in Redcar and Cleveland, 95% are deemed “good” or “outstanding” by Ofsted. But the same local authority is in the bottom 20 of all 149 council areas in England when it comes to the progress a pupil makes from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school.

The north-east is far better at helping young people into apprenticeships, however: 20% of school leavers in Hartlepool become apprentices, compared with just 4% in London. Read More