Yorkshire’s education crisis: An underfunded education system in the North is set to face further pressure in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic

Northern leaders, charities and education heads have warned an underfunded education system in the North is set to face further pressure in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, as existing inequalities worsen.

As part of a special investigation by The Yorkshire Post, ahead of Rishi Sunak’s spending review in September, opportunity areas across the region have spoken of the success and challenges they have endured since the pioneering education scheme was rolled out in 2016 and added pressures faced due to limited funding before, during and in the recovery of the coronavirus.

Read the full investigation here.Experts and data suggest an underfunded education system in the North is set to face further pressure in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, as existing inequalities worsen.

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New analysis from the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP), shows that Yorkshire schools that are lower in national league tables move up 374 places on average when their students’ backgrounds are taken into account.

'Lessons on Wheels' is an initiative set-up in Bradford, helping children catch-up and supporting those struggling during the coronavirus. Pictured organisation leader Natalie Woodley delivering a bag to Kirsty Ware and her daughter Millie Sartin. Photo credit: Jonathan Gawthorpe/ JPI Media Resell

Ahead of the Autumn spending review Boris Johnson's government is being urged to make his “levelling-up” rhetoric a reality by expanding the pioneering educational scheme which has raised standards in three areas of Yorkshire across the whole of the North.

Children's Commissioner for England Anne Longfield said: “I would like the whole of the North to be an ‘opportunity area’, so there is a relentless push for a rebalancing, that identifies the gaps and what needs to happen and relentlessly look to close them.”

NPP director Henri Murison added: “The real opportunity is for this government to tackle educational disadvantage once and for all and make that a key plank of levelling up - otherwise parents and others who may have chosen to vote conservative at the last election will be left asking themselves why they did.”

A special report by The Yorkshire Post reveals:

Pictured, the Children's Commissioner for England Anne Longfield, Photo credit: Jeff Gilbert/PA

- Yorkshire schools that are lower in national league tables move up 374 places on average when their students’ backgrounds are taken into account. One school in Hull moved up 1,330 places.

- There are fears an underfunded education system in the North is also set to face further pressure in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, as existing inequalities worsen.

- The lockdown has seen a dramatic shift in opportunity areas priorities across the region, with many projects and progress halting to shift to a focus on catch-up for pupils in September due to education losses

- Innovative projects have also had to adapt during these unprecedented times including a community education initiative in Bradford aptly named ‘lessons on wheels,’ that has been a “life-line” for young families struggling during difficult times and provided vital meals and education.

Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) director Henri Murison, photo credit: Jonathan Gawthorpe/ JPIMediaResell

- Ahead of the Autumn spending review Boris Johnson's government is being urged by Political leaders, charities and education heads to make his “levelling-up” rhetoric a reality by expanding the pioneering educational scheme which has raised standards in three areas of Yorkshire across the whole of the North.

Read the full investigation here._____________________________

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James Mitchinson