SATs, GCSEs and A Levels: SCHOOLS NorthEast Commentary

Congratulations to all of our region’s schools, staff and students who have received results this summer – it’s been an incredibly impressive year for the North East.

We have had fantastic feedback from schools on how well pupils have performed this summer, especially with new grading systems in place.

Below are the results from our region:


Key Stage 2 results continued to rise in the North East, with the percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics rising from 65% in 2017 to 67%. The proportion of pupils achieving at the higher standard also rose, from 9% to 10%. The England average at expected and higher standard is 64% and 10%, respectively.

However, mirroring the national picture, gender gaps persist in the region.  The gap has particularly widened at the higher levels of attainment, with girls increasingly out-performing boys in writing and especially reading across most parts of the North East. Boys continued to maintain a small advantage in Mathematics.




A Levels

A Levels 1

A Levels 2

SCHOOLS NorthEast Media Commentary

In media commentary, SCHOOLS NorthEast challenged the Government to do more for the region to ensure schools are properly supported to help pupils in the North East, many of whom are from deprived backgrounds, through funding and extra support that other regions have received.

A Levels

Growing divide in university entries exposes social mobility gap

University entries in decline in North region while more affluent areas are on the rise

ENGLAND’S largest regional schools network has raised grave concerns about the Government’s social mobility programme as university entry data shows a widening North South divide.

SCHOOLS NorthEast says serious questions have to be asked about the impact of measures to address Prime Minister Theresa May’s social mobility “burning injustices”.

University placement data, published on the day thousands of teenagers receive their A Level results, shows that the North East, North West and Yorkshire and The Humber regions all saw a drop in the number of students placed with universities.
This is at odds with the national picture where five of the six other regions all saw an increase in placements, with nearly 10% more Londoners progressing to university than the North East.

Mike Parker, Director of SCHOOLS NorthEast, said: “Theresa May stood on the steps of Downing Street in July 2016 and spoke of the burning injustices of social immobility. Two years on and we are in a worse situation here in the North East.

“The Department for Education has buried its head in the sand over this issue, passing over the North East for its flagship Opportunity Areas initiative, funnelling funding for school improvement to other areas and denying that funding is an issue while highly successful London schools receive significantly more resources than schools in the North.

“A fresh approach is urgently needed to reverse this picture. The Government needs to address the issues that stifle outcomes in the North – supporting communities out of poverty, raising adult literacy and numeracy levels, a far stronger focus on early years education, addressing aspiration and substantially improving resourcing, staffing and support for schools to improve educational outcomes.”

Source: UCAS


Top grade attainment gap widening between London and North East pupils

THIS year’s GCSE results have shown a growing divide in the attainment of top grades between the North East and London.

SCHOOLS NorthEast said these results show that students in the region are achieving excellent results despite the odds, although diminishing funding and opportunity for students in the North East can no longer be ignored.

Chris Zarraga, Director of Operations at SCHOOLS NorthEast, said: “With this tougher GCSE system now in place, we want to praise our students and schools for the hard work and dedication that they have put in this year, which has led to the increase in 1.1% of our region’s students receiving the 4 pass grade or above compared to 2017.

“This is a huge achievement for our region as we are second only to the South West in this increase in pass rates this year, which shows that against the odds, our students are triumphing despite the disadvantage that they face compared to their southern peers.

“However, the results also shine a glaring light on the disparity between advantaged and disadvantaged students and how it affects attainment levels.”

In 2014, the gap between the North East and London attainment at A and A* level was 7.4%. This year the gap between the two regions at the new top grades (7-9) stands at 8.5%, having gradually widened over the last 4 years.

The recent Education Policy Institute (EPI) report on the state of education in England showed that educational disadvantage has become entrenched across parts of the North East. The data suggests disadvantaged pupils in some areas of the region are as much as two years behind their peers by the end of secondary school.

In the North East LEP area, the disadvantage gap at the end of secondary school was 21.4 months and the Tees Valley stood at an even higher gap of 22.4 months, compared to 9.2 months in London, the lowest in the country.

Chris Zarraga continued: “The gap between the top grades in the North East and London is widening, and we cannot ignore the fact that this will be heavily influenced by opportunity and funding – something our region has severely lacked for many, many years. Now is the time for the government to acknowledge the detrimental effect that the lack of funding has on our region’s students and schools and what this will mean for their futures.”

Source:  JCQ ( and EPI report (


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s