A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

The Leader of the Newcastle upon Tyne Community First Party has this week called for action on education after research undertaken by the new party demonstrated that Newcastle still suffers from a postcode lottery on education outcomes.

Department of Education figures show that Newcastle is still in the top 20 local authorities in England for the percentage of pupils leaving school with no GCSEs and remains in the bottom five authorities for pupils leaving school with 5 GCSEs A-G including Maths and English. Whilst Newcastle is in the top third of authorities for the percentage of pupils achieving 5 GCSEs A-C grades, it is placed at 130 of 151 authorities for the percentage of young people achieving 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English.

These figures hide a more significant problem for our city. In Gosforth, 69% of pupils achieved 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English, whilst only 21% of pupils at All Saints College and 25% of pupils at the Excelsior Academy were able to achieve this.  

The Newcastle upon Tyne Community First Party was launched on Valentine’s Day, making clear that it hoped voters would take it to their hearts by 5 May. The party’s  aim is to take back the council from the politicians who represent the national political parties and to give a voice to ordinary people in the council chamber.

Jason Smith, who will be the party’s candidate in Westerhope Ward, said: “Education attainment has been shown to have an impact on employment, wages and health in later life. The stakes are so high that we cannot accept a single young person being failed by our education system.

“Three percent of young people at Excelsior Academy and four percent at Benfield School got no GCSEs at all.

“The general figures for Newcastle hide a tale of two cities, with young people attending schools Gosforth High School, Heaton Manor School in Jesmond, private schools or faith schools achieving significantly better outcomes than young people attending other schools in the city.

“As a parent of two young children, I know how ambitious every parent is for their children but too many of our degree-educated councillors do not seem to see the problem. We need a review of the education system in Newcastle, with input from parents and teachers, so we can make a positive impact on the life chances of young people.”

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