Providing Great Future for Our Young Is Far from Child's Play; North East Children Held Back by Poor Education

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), March 26, 2018 | Go to article overview

Providing Great Future for Our Young Is Far from Child's Play; North East Children Held Back by Poor Education


Byline: JONATHAN WALKER Political Editor jon.walker@trinitymirror.com @jonwalker121

CHILDREN in the North are proud of where they come from - but many are held back by poverty and poor schools.

And being poor in the North of England has a worse effect on your chances in life than being poor in London.

These are some of the findings of a report by the Children's Commissioner, the nation's official champion for children, in a major new report called 'Growing up North.'.

It found that many children growing up in the North are thriving. But they're also being let down by the Government's Northern Powerhouse project, which focuses on improving the economy without improving prospects for young people.

The report called for a massive push to improve school standards across the North.

And it called for a major rethink of Government policy towards the North, saying: "Children's prospects should be placed at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse and given the same attention as economic regeneration."

Growing Up North is the culmination of 12 months of research, analysis and conversations with children, schools, business, councils, health professionals and charities.

The commissioner, Anne Longfield, is from Yorkshire and studied at Newcastle University.

She said: "Too many children in the North are facing the doublewhammy of entrenched deprivation and poor schools. They are being left behind."

Some of the main findings include: |Northern two to three-year-olds are more likely than their London counterparts to attend nursery - but are less likely to reach the expected standard of development when starting school; | More than half of the schools serving the North's most deprived communities are below a 'good' rating. This means children in these communities face the double-disadvantage of being from a poor community and attending a poor school; |Many more children in the North than nationally are starting school with high levels of development issues, but fewer children are having special educational needs diagnosed before they start school; |High numbers of children across the North are dropping out of school too early, missing vital parts of their education and undermining their future prospects; |Fifteen years ago, London's schools were the worst in the country. Now they are among the best - but there is no sign yet of the same transformation taking place in the North; |Girls outperform boys in school but are paid less as adults - something which is true everywhere, but even more so in Northern areas where traditional industries have been very male-dominated. |The labour market in Northern communities is likely to have fewer high-wage, high-skilled jobs, and families are likely to have fewer economic connections. …

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