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Parents in north of England should be more pushy, says children's tsar

(13 Posts)
alienoverlord Mon 05-Dec-16 14:29:42

Here's the story ...

I probably fit their mould of being relatively pushy - encourage my kids to do well at school, do lots of extra-curricular stuff etc. I also live in the South. However, I'm from the North-East. I moved south after Uni because it's where the work was (and also because it's a little warmer). Many thousands of others do the same.

So if all the aspirational (a much better word than pushy) types gravitate towards where the work is, maybe they should solve the work (and weather) problem in the North first. Perhaps they will then find the aspiration spreads itself more evenly.

bojorojo Mon 05-Dec-16 15:39:57

I think your last paragraph is key. I read somewhere recently that one in four graduates want to move out of the North and come south. That is a massive brain drain. It does mean they are looking for better paid jobs, but also that they are not staying in the North to improve anything there.

London is interesting because there are so many nationalities in the schools. Many cultures have high expectations of education. Higher than the indigenous population in many cases. Therefore it seems obvious that parental aspiration is a major influence and not putting up with less than good schools.

We also know the majority of underperforming local authorities are in the north when looking at secondary school progress and outcomes for children. My guess would be that too few parents really care about the education their children get and think it is ok as it is (except MN parents of course). Many live in denial of the facts. However, we also know there is a shortage of good teachers in the north and excellent head teachers. This really will take time to turn around but parents should expect improvements. With the academy schools, nothing much has changed for many children and parents are still remote from lots of schools and feel they have no influence.

EnormousTiger Tue 06-Dec-16 20:55:14

We went to fee paying schools in the NE so probably different from many in the NE.

If we shipped more immigrants up there then the positive effect they have in London would be pushed through. That might be one solution. northumberland is 97% white for example.

PostTruthBreakdown Fri 09-Dec-16 10:02:57

I'm another northerner who headed south, though I went no further than the midlands. They're suffering enough, the north is worse. What is up there? No decent jobs, infrastructure limited and falling to bits, it has been abandoned.

Makes me think of the post Roman collapse in Britain.

Ship immigrants up there and everything will be all right?? How patronising. The trouble is in the system, not in the people.

EnormousTiger Fri 09-Dec-16 16:23:18

I'm not sure I agree. Our part of London which is mostly immigrants is doing very well indeed because the children work incredibly hard in the schools and people create and make work etc. It has a hugely positive effect.

Obsidian77 Fri 09-Dec-16 21:45:25

If you do push your kids to get top grades, go to good universities and get good jobs then many of them end up in London. Of course there are excellent unis in other parts of the UK but the jobs market is heavily tilted in London's favour.
You're right op I don't think the solution lies in more pushy northern parents.

Porridgemagic Fri 09-Dec-16 21:54:01

I went to a brownies fundraiser the other night, in a naice Home Counties town. They raised a couple of hundred quid, and then at the end one of the parents announced that their company would match-fund everything raised.

It's small but regular leg-ups like that which happen because the head offices and high earners are down here. There's more money in circulation. And that's a huge and yet hidden part of the north/south divide.

MistressMaisie Sat 14-Jan-17 06:46:51

If you visited where all the immigrants have come from you would probably find the same problems as the north in this country. No jobs, poor infrastructure, lack of aspiration.
Those that move have the education, possibly come from wealthier background, which gives them the opportunity to move. You can't move from anywhere to the SE without an expected income to cover the housing costs.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Sat 14-Jan-17 07:11:05

Shipping immigrants up north will have a positive effect hmm

I live in Bradford, we have a high immigrant population in 2015 Bradford was voted the worst place to live in the UK. Unemployment is high, outstanding schools are very much in the minority. Poverty is extremely widespread in most of the city.

There is nothing to look up to here. To many people that I know and work with here the high salaries and success of those down south is just that... For those down south. It's seems unattainable and for the majority it is. It's frig all to do with pushy parenting and everything to do with lack of aspiration in the area.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Sat 14-Jan-17 07:28:39

Just to clarify I'm not saying the problem with Bradford is immigrants, I personally think it's one of the better things about Bradford.
As Posttruth says it's not the people, it's the system and the environment that's the problem.

HalfShellHero Tue 17-Jan-17 09:15:36

Poverty ,Deprivation, Political /institutional failure oh and Poverty, ...Im from Rotherham the level of education isnt great and its not the parents fault.

MaryTheCanary Tue 17-Jan-17 11:33:52

Some immigrant groups tend to have higher than average UK educational achievement, some have lower.

I'm puzzled--do people think that there are hardly any immigrants in the north of England? Many areas have very high levels.

This is a very interesting article on the topic:

In Britain, Bangladeshis have overtaken Pakistanis. Credit the poor job market when they arrived and the magical effect of London

....their fortunes are now diverging. And that says something about what it takes to succeed as an immigrant in Britain.

The explanations lie partly in the past. Pakistanis—many of them from the rural Mirpur Valley in Kashmir—began to settle thickly in Britain in the 1960s. They often took jobs in the textile mills of the north and the foundries of the West Midlands.

Most Bangladeshis came later. Many men arrived in the 1970s as refugees, but the peak of migration was in the early 1980s, when the women and children turned up. They thus arrived when British industry was on the ropes—which was oddly lucky, suggests Shamit Saggar of Essex University. Though many were working in the rag trade, they had not committed themselves to one doomed industry. Pakistanis had: they suffered greatly from the collapse of British textile-making.

Those early jobs also drew the two groups to different bits of England. Today half of all Britain’s Bangladeshis live in London, compared to one-fifth of Pakistanis. Bangladeshis do not just tend to live in Britain’s most successful city, they also live in a particularly vibrant bit of it: Tower Hamlets surrounds the booming office district of Canary Wharf. Schools in London have improved much more than schools elsewhere, partly because they get more government money but also because the best teachers want to work there.

The growing success of Bangladeshis appears odd because their living conditions are often so dismal. More than one-third live in social housing, compared with a national average of 18%. Near Morpeth School, a fence outside grotty flats is topped with upturned nails to deter intruders. Pakistanis are more likely to own houses. But, since those houses are often in the wrong place, that has not helped them much. Those living in decayed northern towns are tied to properties whose value is hardly rising, stopping them moving to more dynamic spots. “It is a stake that only allows you to move around the corner to equally bleak economies,” says Mr Saggar.

MaryTheCanary Tue 17-Jan-17 11:34:52

So no, "shipping a bunch of immigrants up north" is unlikely to change things. Quite apart from the fact that said immigrants might possibly object to being shipped....

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