The North-South divide, already known to manifest in politics and economics, is now also apparent in education, says Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Michael Wilshaw. A problem specific to secondary schools, it has been reported that 79% of secondary schools in the South are rated good or outstanding compared to just 68% in the North and Midlands.
Sir Michael also added that schools in the North and Midlands “on average make less progress in English and maths, perform worse at GCSE and attain fewer top grades at A-level”.
With the results affecting over 410,000 children in the North and Midlands, it is essential that focus is now placed on under-performing local authority areas so as to prevent a “nation divided at the age of 11”.
The solution? Collective action and political will. According to Sir Michael the challenges facing the education system are not structural, but due to “a lack of capacity in leadership, teaching and governance, and an insufficient focus on the disadvantaged”.