Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'Catastrophe' of Education in the North

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'Catastrophe' of Education in the North

Article excerpt

A FORMER top civil servant - among those tipped to take Sir Howard Bernstein's job heading up Manchester council - has slammed northern school standards as 'close to catastrophic'.

Lord Bob Kerslake, at one time the most senior mandarin in Whitehall, said the region was hugely underperforming on basic secondary skills such as English and maths, arguing that a huge shift was now needed in order to narrow the north-south divide.

He said that if the Northern Powerhouse was to work, government needed to 'shift the dial' on school standards.

Speaking at a Tory Conference fringe meeting in Birmingham, the former head of the civil service said: "We have to put our hand up and say that the north underperforms.

"In my view, it is close to catastrophic on education and skills. …

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