Mixed picture '¨in the North

There are around 3.5 million children in the North of England.

At the age of 11 children in some northern areas do well, particularly in the North East – with 56 per cent of children reaching the expected standard at Key Stage 2.

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By the age of 16 many places in the North have failed to keep track with the big improvements made in London schools. Last year pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds were 41 per cent more likely to get five GCSEs, grade A* to C, in London than in the North of England.

At 18, a school leaver in the North is less likely to go to a top university but more likely to do an apprenticeship – with twice as many young people going on to do apprenticeships after leaving school than in London.