Failing schools could be fatal to ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

‘Failing schools risk causing plans for the government's so-called Northern Powerhouse to "splutter and die", the Ofsted chief has warned.

Secondary schools in Liverpool and Manchester are "not firing on all cylinders" due to deteriorating GCSE performances, Sir Michael Wilshaw said.

This could result in a "lack of skills" for the northern economic growth plan, a letter from the watchdog said.’ - BBC

‘In a speech to the IPPR think tank this morning, Sir Michael will say: "Yes, London has advantages that other cities lack, but what of Liverpool or Manchester?

"Are you really telling me that they lack swagger and dynamism? That they cannot succeed in the way London has succeeded?

"These are the cities that built Britain. They pioneered a modern, civic education when students at certain other universities spent most of their time studying the New Testament in Greek.

"Today, Manchester and Liverpool boast eight universities between them, two of which are among the top 200 in the world. They are beacons of higher educational excellence. But if these cities can provide a world-class education for youngsters at 18, why on earth are they failing to do so for too many at 11?”’ - TES

‘Coun Rosa Battle, lead member for schools for Manchester City Council, said: "We welcome the recognition that local authorities and local politicians need to have a strong role in school improvement - whatever the category of school - in order to ensure that schools reach expected standards and deliver good outcomes for all pupils.

"Our results last year obviously saw a dip, but far from ignoring this we've taken a long hard look at the issues involved and have put a series of measures in place to overcome these, because we're simply not prepared to sit back and watch our pupils fail.

"Manchester is a world class city and we will continue to work relentlessly with schools, parents, and partners both in Manchester and beyond to make sure our children and young people get an education that reflects this."’ – Manchester Evening News

‘Liverpool’s assistant mayor for education Nick Small said he agreed that getting people skilled for jobs of the future was a key requirement of northern powerhouse development, but warned about the impact of a centralised schools policy and “narrow EBacc 1950s education” in schools.

He said: “The recent Liverpool Challenge conference shows that when we all work together – business, our universities, schools and colleges and mayor – we can achieve more together.”’ – Schools Week


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