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You cannot “level up” without tackling regional inequalities in the school system


Onward’s Francesca Fraser writes for Prospect about the need for Government to address the inequities of the school system within their levelling up agenda.

”In some local authorities—such as Knowsley, Middlesbrough, Kingston upon Hull and Hartlepool—attainment at GCSE level was in the bottom decile across England in 1998, and still is today. Successive Ofsted ratings have revealed how these places lack the teaching quality, leadership and culture of aspiration that children need to succeed. Yet governments have repeatedly struggled to address these failings, leaving generation after generation barred from achieving their potential.

We face a choice. We can continue to let these places muddle through for years on end, or we can take the difficult decision to intervene. Most parents in these places would agree that the former option has clearly not worked. While school intervention is disruptive—and if done badly, can undermine the learning outcomes of the pupils we are trying to help—it is significantly more damaging to keep children in schools we know are not delivering for their pupils, and have not been for some time, than to take steps to bring these schools up to an acceptable standard.”

This article first appeared in Prospect on Friday 25 June here.

Lost Learning: Exploring the access to good schools in England

Understanding the disparity in educational opportunity across England and why we need a long-term plan to improve our schools.

Nick Timothy wrote about why Britain needs to reindustrialise in the Daily Telegraph.