Report Shows 'Two Britains' In Education System
The extent of the educational divide in Britain has been laid bare by new research by the Universities and College Union (UCU).
The union examined the number of people in each UK constituency without any qualifications, finding disparities across the country.
In constituencies such as Birmingham Hodge Hill, a third of people have no qualifications. However only 2.6% in well-to-do Wimbledon have none. Overall, one in nine Britons has no qualifications.
UCU head Sally Hunt said the study showed “two Britains”: “One with education, and the massive personal benefits it can bring, and the other without.
“Education is central to our country's future, yet in some places thousands of people still have no qualifications. There is a real danger that children growing up in certain areas will have their ambition blunted and never realise their full potential.”
A government spokesman said that the coalition’s educational reforms would help those “short-changed” by the education system.
"We are radically increasing the number of academies - targeting those schools where performance is not good enough. The pupil premium gives more money to schools to spend on the poorest children. We are stripping away poor qualifications, and with the introduction of the EBacc, we are opening up core academic subjects to tens of thousands of children currently denied the chance to study them, particularly the poorest. And the new £180m bursary for 16-19 year olds will help the poorest students stay on in education.
"We want every young person to leave school equipped to go on to further study or find a job. Changes to student finance shouldn't put anyone off going to university - new students will not pay upfront costs and loan repayments will be lower than the current system."
But Labour MP Pamela Nash, whose constituency is 14th on the list, said the evidence showed the Government needed to change course. She told the Huffington Post UK:
" I was saddened to read in the report published by UCU that our constituency of Airdrie and Shotts has one of the lowest rates of adults with qualifications in the country.
“The Tory-led Government have continuously attacked the ability of people to learn new skills and gain qualifications by scrapping the Education Maintenance Allowance, reducing support for adult learners and for those out of work…
“It is my hope that when the Prime Minister reads this report he thinks again and reinstates these support measures, which are affecting areas like Airdrie and Shotts, with high levels of unemployment and in need of training, the most. For our economy to develop we need an educated workforce to compete in a global market".
The top five constituencies with the fewest people with no qualifications were
- Brent North
- Romsey and Southampton North
- Leeds North West
And the bottom five were
- Glasgow North East
- Birmingham, Hodge Hill
- Bradford West
- Glasgow East
- Derby South