Skip to main content

16th November 2015

GCSE results reflect a north-south divide

This summer’s GCSE results draw attention to worryingly stark regional educational inequality in Britain

Education data firm SchoolDash has mapped this year’s national summer GCSE results and it emerges that 4.7 percentage points more school students in the south of England achieve five ‘good’ GCSEs, including English and Maths, that their northern counterparts.

In 2012, the gap had been 1.8 per cent, rising to 2.8 per cent in 2013 and then spiking to 4.8 per cent in 2014. A breakdown of the results implies that London has consistently been the top achiever, with the South West and East Anglia showing improvement. SchoolDash founder, Timo Hannay, stated that the overview of the mapped results suggests that regional performance up to the age of seven “correlates closely with deprivation except in London, which does unusually well.”

The north-south education gap is by no means a new phenomenon this year. Statistical evidence from IPPR North’s ‘The State of The North’ report shows that “many children in the North get off to a bad start in life, particularly those from more economically disadvantaged backgrounds.”

In London, a much higher proportion of the poorest children achieve a “good level of development”: they have a 12 percentage point advantage over their northern peers. It also shows that, since 2010, the North’s overall GCSE attainment scores have slipped more than the national average.

Unsurprisingly, this ‘early years gap’ between northern and southern children proves extremely hard to equalise as they get older. In 2011, The Sutton Trust showed that a higher proportion of students from London and the South-East achieve three A grades at A-level and that young people from the London and South East of England are more likely to get places at top universities, even though 75 per cent of the UK’s population do not live in those regions.

More Coverage

Cost of living pressures mount for students as average rent increases nationally

Cost of living pressures have pushed the average student rent to £7,566, with the average maintenance loan being around £7,590

Manchester Christmas markets found to be the best in Europe

Recent stats suggest that the Manchester Christmas markets have gained 13.2 million TikTok views and a Tripadvisor rating of 4.5

SU Exec team release updated statement on Israel-Palestine conflict

The Exec team at the Students’ Union offer “condolescences” to all members of the student body who have been affected by past and recent events as part of the Israel-Palestine conflict

Former University of Manchester student jailed for Just Stop Oil activity

Just Stop Oil activist Phoebe Plummer, known for defacing a van Gogh painting, faces 6 months in prison, pending their plea to Southwark Crown Court on November 30