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

University confirm potential graduation delays

An email update from The Faculty of Humanities confirms potential delays to graduation and their efforts to minimise the impact on students

Local elections 2023: Fallowfield still has lowest turnout in Manchester

Fallowfield still has the lowest voter turnout in Manchester whilst the Greens and Lib Dems made gains – here’s a full breakdown of Manchester’s Local elections 2023.

Pole and Burlesque Soc rehearsal labelled ‘degrading’ by senior staff member

During a rescheduled rehearsal outside the AGLC, two members of the Pole and Burlesque Society were attacked for their outfits and activity by a member of staff.

UCU marking and assessment boycott: Everything you need to know

Strikes continue into the 2022/23 academic year, with the UCU now pursuing a marking boycott, affecting most universities across the UK. But, what does this mean exactly?