Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has yesterday (23rd May 2016) welcomed a report by IPPR North and Teach First which calls for fairer funding for northern schools to tackle educational disadvantage.
The report by the Institute for Public Policy Research, and endorsed by the charity Teach First, highlights how pupils from low income backgrounds in the north are falling behind their peers in other parts of country.
Whilst northern primary schools perform well, with some boroughs like Redcar & Cleveland rivalling London, secondary school attainment is a major cause for concern with widening inequalities between poorer and wealthier pupils.
Northern secondary schools receive £1,300 less per pupil on average than London and IPPR are urging the government to use upcoming reform of the national funding formula to address this imbalance – a so-called ‘Powerhouse Premium’ to help deliver the skills the economy needs to grow.
“I welcome IPPR’s report which shows that more resources are needed to overcome educational disadvantage in the North. This is important research because high quality education is vital to ensuring our young people can fulfil their potential and that we have the right skills to drive our local economy forward.
Whilst our primary schools are performing very well, thanks to excellent leadership and teaching staff, our secondary schools are getting a raw deal on funding and I back the idea of a ‘Powerhouse Premium’ to address this.
Opportunities in life should never be based on a child’s background and if we are to equip every child to succeed then our schools need properly funding so that they can overcome disadvantages.
I urge the government to support the recommendations of the report.”