Northumberland lags behind in education statistics

Census highlights qualifications gap.Census highlights qualifications gap.
Census highlights qualifications gap.
Almost a fifth of adults in Northumberland have no formal education qualifications, according to new figures.

That figure – 19.9% – is above the national average of 18.2% but, at the other end of the scale, 30.7% of people in the area had a level 4 or higher qualification, such as a degree, postgraduate qualification, higher national certificate or diploma.

The data comes from the 2021 census which shows significantly different levels of educational attainment across England and Wales.

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The Office for National Statistics data shows that, nationally, 33.8% of people had a level 4 qualification or above.

Census deputy director Jon Wroth-Smith said the data shows London (46.7%) came out on top with the highest proportion of people with a level 4 or above qualification.

“The region with the lowest proportion of people with Level 4 or above qualifications was the North East, with the East Midlands at a similar level.”

Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute think tank, said: “The numbers are stark. While they show how amazingly well-educated Londoners are relative to other areas, they also highlight the importance of education in true levelling up.

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“London does well partly because people move there but also because the education system in the capital is very good, thanks to conscious decisions by policymakers over many years."

He added: “If other areas are to compete with London, they need similar levels of investment and commitment. The jury is out on whether that is likely to happen given recent political changes.”