At the end of primary school there is little difference in attainment between those either side of the North-South divide but a gap opens up by the time pupils turn 16, according to the report released by the Children’s Commissioner to launch the Growing Up North project.
Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, said it was “time to leave the North-South divide behind” and called on those leading the regeneration of the North to seize the “unique opportunity” to improve children’s prospects.
In 2015, 34 per cent of disadvantaged pupils attending northern schools achieved at least five A* to C grades at GCSE including Maths and English, compared to 48 per cent of disadvantaged students in London, the report found.
Disadvantaged pupils are defined as those in receipt of the pupil premium, while the north of England includes the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber regions.
Of the 20 local authorities with the lowest percentage of pupils achieving five A*s to Cs in 2015, including Maths and English, a total of 12 were in the North, according to the research.
Minding the education gap: Page 9.