Comments by the country’s senior schools inspector about the North-South divide in secondary education have been welcomed by North East MEP Jonathan Arnott.
“I fear that the worries expressed by Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools, are totally justified and therefore welcome him bringing this important matter into the public arena,” said Mr Arnott.
Sir Michael has said that the growing divide in performance between secondary schools in the North and South should make us “worry as a nation” and poses serious consequences for the future.
“He is quite right that this divide must end; the youngsters of the North East deserve the best start in life,” said Mr Arnott, a former teacher and UKIP Euro-MP.
“Sadly education in the region has been underfunded and neglected in the same way as so many other aspects such as transport links and investment in industry and technology.
“Only today George Osborne has been talking about the Northern Powerhouse but we want and need action now. We have the highest unemployment rate in the country and our education standards need be among the best in the country to empower our youngsters to succeed in life.
“It is encouraging that Sir Michael singled out North and South Tyneside as areas where secondary schools are doing well and perhaps detailed analysis of why that is could help to raise standards elsewhere,” said Mr Arnott.
“We must never be complacent about education, it is vital for our country that children’s abilities are not wasted,” he added.