Think Tank Says North South Divide Affects Poorest Students: A new report from centre-left think tank The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), to be launched in Sheffield, details a number of tests of the Government’s proposed Northern Powerhouse scheme.
According to the findings of the research, fewer than half (47%) of children born in to the poorest families in the North of England go on to achieve a good level of early years development – this is compared to almost three in five (59%) in London.
Speaking about the findings, IPPR director Ed Cox said that the north will ‘never become a powerhouse economy [whilst its] children and young people have such a poor start in life.’
Mr Cox went to say that it would take a generation of investment – in both infrastructure such as railways and motorways, but also in terms of ‘human capital’, in the North of England.
Among other measures outlined by IPPR for the success of the powerhouse would be the creation of 600,000 new jobs, closing the North / South divide in terms of the proportion of pupils achieving five or more GCSEs including English and maths, and ensuring that levels of investment in research and development were matching those of the highest performing regions in Europe.
Research published in 2014 by DJS Research Ltd provided a link between the levels of reading and levels of deprivation. More frequent readers tended to live in areas with lower levels of deprivation, whilst less frequent readers lived in more deprived areas. Only two fifths (42%) of respondents from DE social groups said they read at least once a week.
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