New data reveals Jarrow and South Shields rank below UK education average
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Jarrow and South Shields have been placed below the national average, despite data from across the country suggesting small towns have better educational attainment.
The study followed the fortunes of state school pupils who sat their GCSEs in the 2012/13 school year, looking at how many went on to get A-levels, degrees and other qualifications.
It is the first time much of this data has been gathered at individual town level, and shows:
- People from smaller towns have better educational attainment, on average, than those who grow up in larger towns or cities;
- Coastal and seaside towns have lower attainment scores on average than other towns;
- Attainment is linked to income - towns with higher levels of deprivation score much lower on average than more affluent towns;
- Of the top 10% of towns with the highest educational attainment scores, none have high levels of income deprivation.
Data on an individual’s attainment in later years was related back to the town they lived in when they sat their GCSEs, even if they moved away afterwards. This allowed the researchers to understand the relationship between long-term educational attainment and the town where the person grew up.
Three South Tyneside towns are included in the study with Hebburn being considered to be the only small town in the data for the region.
To compare towns, the ONS used a score to summarise the educational attainment of young people at different points throughout their education. A score of 0 is the average score of all areas, while negative scores reflect poorer than average performance, and positive scores mean better than average attainment.
Hebburn scored 1.4, meaning above average attainment for the region. The average score for a small town across the country was 0.4.
Jarrow recieved an ONS Education score of -0.8 compared to the UK average of -0.3 and South Shields scored a shocking -2 compared to the -0.9 average of small towns across the region.
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Just one local town, Hebburn, is above the national average across all towns and cities in the UK.
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “This analysis demonstrates how closely aligned educational outcomes are to levels of deprivation.
“Raising attainment is therefore dependent not only on ensuring that schools in areas of high deprivation are well supported and resourced, but also on wider efforts to tackle poverty and improve local economies.”
He called on the government to "work with schools, colleges, local authorities, other agencies and businesses to revive these areas and give families better opportunities”.