The Children's Commissioner has published her year-long research into the experiences of children growing up in the north of England and the impact of the developments associated with the Northern Powerhouse project. It finds that children love where they live, but are not properly benefitting from investment in the North, which should focus more on children. The findings include:

  • Northern 2 to 3 year olds are more likely than their London counterparts to attend nursery – but are less likely to reach the expected standard of development when starting school
  • More than half of the schools serving the North’s most deprived communities are below a ‘good’ rating. This means children in these communities face the double-disadvantage of being from a poor community and attending a poor school. Schools in these ‘cold spots’ are facing the same problems: weak leadership, poor governance and difficulties recruiting staff
  • Many more children in the North than nationally are starting school with high-levels of development issues, but fewer children are having special educational needs diagnosed before they start school

High numbers of children across the North are dropping out of school too early, missing vital parts of their education and undermining their future prospects.