Chair of Education Committee writes to Secretary of State for Education about disadvantage in the North of England
May 15, 2018
On the back of a public evidence session with the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, the chair of the education committee, Robert Halfon MP, has written to the secretary of state for education, Damian Hinds, concerning the “stark educational attainment gap between the North and other parts of England, particularly for disadvantaged pupils”. Mr Halfon quoted figures which show that “at the end of Key Stage 4, attainment 8 scores of northern pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds were 13 points behind those of their fellow pupils [and] Northern pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve lower attainment levels than disadvantaged pupils elsewhere in the country (1.3 points below the national average and 6.5 points below their peers in London)”.
Mr Halfon has requested that the government share with the committee what actions it is taking to address issues which contribute to this north/south divide. This includes clarity around pupil premium spending, career support and work placements opportunities, teacher recruitment and retention, multi-academy trust performance, provision of level four (or above) qualifications and the government’s strategy for narrowing the attainment gap in the North. Mr Halfon also wants the government to clarify how much of the Northern Powerhouse fund has been spent so far.
Regardless of where your school is located in the country, governing boards have a duty to ensure that disadvantaged pupils are receiving aspirational, high quality and impartial careers advise and that the pupil premium is being spent to narrow the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantage pupils