Town hall support for social mobility

The council has pledged to support schoolchildren from the borough's deprived areas
The council has pledged to support schoolchildren from the borough's deprived areas

Wigan Council has pledged to continue support for low income schoolchildren after new national figures show the worrying gap between their performance compared to their more affluent peers.

The study, conducted by the Social Mobility Commission, shows that youngsters who live in households where money is scarce are progressing at a lesser rate across the country.

And it adds that there is “particularly low progress” in the North West.

Low income white British pupils are affected the most by this gap at secondary schools than any other ethnicity.

Historically Wigan borough has had very small ethnic communities compared with many other parts of the region and this remains the case to this day.

Wigan Council, which has recently released the secondary school offers for September, has said that it will focus its efforts on helping those children transitioning from primary school to high school.

Alan Lindsay, assistant director for education, said: “We want all children and young people in Wigan borough to have the best possible start in life and the council together with all schools, settings and other key educational partners have a relentless focus on securing the highest standards and in ensuring that no child is left behind.

“We know there is work to do in this respect and transition between schools is known to be a potential challenge for some young people.

“Across Wigan there is already a particular focus on this with school and college leaders across primary, secondary and Post 16 provision ensuring that the best practice in effective approaches to transition between schools and settings is developed and shared.”

This news comes just as the Government has closed its second round of consultation on changes to the National Funding Formula, which could see Wigan schools facing a cut of £444 per pupil, which could put pressure on maintaining the high standards of education in the borough.

Mr Lindsay said: “Our education system is one of the best in the country with 91 per cent of our schools judged to be good or outstanding overall by Ofsted and 94 per cent of our primary schools judged good or outstanding.”