Robert Halfon MP chair of the House of Common’s Education Select Committee has written to the Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds to press the Government on what it is doing to improve the quality of education in the North.
The letter follows the Committee’s public hearing on Wednesday with George Osborne, Lord O’Neill and Henri Murison from the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) which focused on their recent report Educating the North.
Halfon has called on the Government to respond to concerns over the use of the pupil premium, the spending of the Northern Powerhouse Education Fund, and high-profile failures of some MATs in the North.
The letter also notes how northern pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve lower attainment levels than disadvantaged pupils elsewhere in the country.
“The NPP’s report on ‘Educating the North’ lays bare the stark educational attainment gap between the North and other parts of England. This is particularly true for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, who at the age of 16 achieve an average Attainment 8 score of 6.5 points below that of their peers in London.
The Education Committee shares concerns about skills, inequalities in educational attainment and social justice and welcomes the path for improvement proposed by the NPP. The Government must now urgently spell out what action it is taking to narrow the attainment gap between the North and the rest of the country.”