Post-code lottery in education is not inevitable

By Simge Kartav

The North-South divide is not only apparent in the economy but it has also become evident in education. This was once again highlighted by a new Commission launched by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) last week. The cross-party initiative is examining the causes and effects of inequality in education at primary and secondary levels in England and Wales.

Initial research from the Commission paints a grim picture - inequality in educational achievement between regions has grown over the past thirty years. There are significant variations in terms of GCSE performance between regions, with over 70% of pupils in London achieving 5 good GCSEs compared to 63% in Yorkshire & Humber. In fact, these regional differences in attainment are already apparent by the end of primary school and are observable even when controlling for other factors such as ethnicity and income.