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Labour condemns widening regional attainment gap as students across the North and Midlands held back by Conservatives’ “managed decline of education standards” 

By 18 August 2023No Comments

Labour’s Shadow Schools Minister Stephen Morgan accused the Conservatives of “overseeing the managed decline of education across the North of England and Midlands” after new research from Labour showed attainment gaps widened. 

Students across London and the South East were almost 40% more likely to get top A or A* grades compared to students in the North East.

Meanwhile, A and A* grades have been rising since 2019 in London and the South whilst falling in the North East and Yorkshire and Humber.

This unequal results day picture follows the Conservatives’ failure to take action to support students’ learning post-pandemic, with only one in seven secondary school students receiving any support from government-funded tutoring this year.

Labour today has warned that the attainment gap threatens to hold young people back across the English regions, but particularly in the North East, in getting on in life, while weakening towns and local economies.

Labour has pledged to drive high and rising standards in state schools as part of its mission to break down barriers to opportunity by recruiting thousands more teachers and investing to retain world class educators in our classrooms by ending private schools’ tax breaks.

Stephen Morgan MP, Labour’s Shadow Schools Minister, said: 

“Students receiving their results have worked incredibly hard despite enormous challenges, yet these results show that the Tories have failed to level the playing field.

“Students in the North East are no less capable but after 13 years of Conservative governments they’re seeing their results go backwards compared to their peers across the South of England.

“After Rishi Sunak said the Conservatives had ‘maxed out’ on support for young people, it’s hard not to conclude that the Conservatives are happy to see the managed decline of educational standards across the parts of our country.

“Labour will shatter the class ceiling, so background is no barrier, putting thousands more teachers in our schools and giving all young people pathways with good prospects.