Act now on education equality in Leeds - or risk widening the gap

Today education leaders in Leeds are urging the Government to stop its relentless focus on statistics.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 6:00 am
The Government is being urged to take action over education inequality. Picture: Adobe Stock.

They have warned that the school system - and its emphasis on league tables and scores - is failing the city’s most disadvantaged children.

Fiona Spellman, chief executive of Leeds-based Shine, told the YEP that it feels as though “the system has been stuck” in a “short-term mode of thinking", when it comes to the future of pupils.

And Coun Jonathan Pryor, who now sits on Labour’s national Bright Future Taskforce, called for a plan to be drawn up on how children can recover the learning they have lost during lockdowns.

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“Covid has created new problems but it has also shone a light on existing problems,” he said.

Owing to the inequality gap, many children in parts of Leeds were already at an extreme disadvantage.

Surely the Government must heed these calls to rethink its education system - otherwise it risks those very same children falling even further behind.