Half of Leeds’s poor kids written off

Leeds Town Hall
Leeds Town Hall
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CHILDREN born into the poorest families in Yorkshire are failing to develop as quickly as youngsters in the South, a new report reveals.

This stark early years gap shows that just 47 per cent of children in the North of England achieve a good standard of development before the age of five-years-old. In London, 59 per cent of children meet the correct standard.

Criticising the 12 per cent performance gap among the under-fives in London and Yorkshire, former Labour shadow minister for foreign affairs Dan Jarvis, said: “The Northern Powerhouse cannot just be about a stronger economy – it must also be about creating a more just society. Because measures like whether our national GDP is rising are meaningless if life chances are still a postcode lottery. As IPPR North has highlighted today, less than half of the most deprived children in the North achieve a good level of development before their 5th birthday. If we look at our children’s centres, the North West, North East and Yorkshire & Humber still receive the poorest reviews from Ofsted. So if we’re going to talk about essential infrastructure and making the most of our most precious resources, let’s make supporting children and revitalising services like Sure Start a priority.”

IPPR North’s report also found that while 55 per cent of young people in Yorkshire attain the standard of 5 GCSEs A*- C, including English and Maths– it was only 33 per cent for those receiving free school meals.

Ed Cox, director at IPPR North, said: “If the Northern Powerhouse is to drive national prosperity, these figures show the challenges it must overcome. We will never become a powerhouse economy when our children and young people have such a poor start in life.”