New findings have revealed that children in the North of England are showing lower levels of achievement than their Southern counterparts. The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, herself a Leeds-based mother, believes this is because parents in the south tend to be pushier and to spur on their children more.
Findings were actually more positive for children in primary education, with 56% of children in the North-East reaching the expected standard at age 11. This compares well to London with 57% of children reaching expected standards. It is when children enter secondary education, that the gap becomes more apparent. This is highlighted in the discovery that school leavers from London and the south-east are more likely to go to competitive universities than those in the north, disadvantaged pupils in London are more likely to get 5 good GCSEs than their counterparts in the north, of the 10 English cities with the lowest employment rates – 8 are in the north.
The Commissioner’s Growing up North research on children’s prospects in the north will be launched on Tuesday as a response to the discoveries. Ms Longfield speaking ahead of the launch said: “As northern parents, we need to be aware of these inconsistencies and variations in secondary schools and push hard for our schools to show how they are improving and helping our children to achieve.
“One of the real drivers of improvements of schools in London has been the demand for good school results from parents and children. There is much we northern parents can learn about this parent power.”