27 Oct, 2015

Northern Powerhouse ‘must close child development gap’

BBC News | 27th October 2015

A North-South divide is affecting children aged under five from poor families in the north of England, a new report by a think-tank has found.

The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) said London’s poorest children outperformed those in the north.

The report is being launched by former deputy prime minister John Prescott and Labour MP Dan Jarvis in Sheffield.

It has detailed a number of “tests” or benchmarks for the government’s northern powerhouse scheme.

Research by the IPPR showed only 47% of children born in the poorest families in the north of England achieved a good level of early years development compared with 59% in London.

Its survey also found five northern city-regions combined had almost as many well-qualified individuals (3.6 million) as London (3.7 million) – but the IPPR forecasts demand for skilled workers in the North is set to increase.