View guides

Children from the South-east Much More Likely to Attend a Top University

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Those attending school in the south-east are 57% more likely to attend a university ranked among the top third compared to their equivalent counterparts in the north.

The year-long investigation into why those from the north get left behind was launched by the children's commissioner for England, with Anne Longfield describing the under-performance of secondary schools in the north of England as a huge concern.

Longfield said: "We see that children start well but a gap emerges while they are at secondary school. That, coupled with the paucity of job prospects in some areas, seem to combine to really open up a gap that many children can't get beyond".

Of the 20-worst performing local authorities in England for GCSE results, 12 are in the north, while just one northern council area makes the top 20, namely Trafford in Greater Manchester.

Longfield suggested the poor performance had a direct impact on further education opportunities, with school leavers in London and the south-east at least 57% more likely to go to a top-third university.

The north-south divide was also a concern of the outgoing chief inspector of schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, who suggested there was a troubling gap between the performance of secondary schools in the north and Midlands and secondary schools in the rest of the country.