By Max Clarke

Britain is being divided between the educational ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, a report by the University and College Union reveals.

Glasgow and Birmingham Hodge Hill, where just 1 in 3 adults has qualifications, ranked at the bottom of the UK’s 632 parliamentary constituencies, whilst for wards at the top of the rank, the figure was 1 in 50.

“There are two Britains living side by side - one with education, and the massive personal benefits it can bring, and the other without,” commented UCU General Secretary, Sally Hunt.

England had the highest level of qualifications, whilst at 13.3% of adults without formal qualifications, Wales ranked bottom.

A North/ South divide in the UK also emerged, with Scotland having lower levels of qualifications than England and London having higher levels than Newcastle, though Leeds stands out as a clear exception- with far higher education levels than surrounding wards.

“Education is central to our country's future, yet in some places thousands of people still have no qualifications,” continued Hunt. “There is a real danger that children growing up in certain areas will have their ambition blunted and never realise their full potential.”

“The government needs to urgently revisit its education policies if we are to really offer improved life chances to all. Introducing fees for people on benefits who wish to study, for example, is incredibly counterproductive. We should be encouraging people to strive for qualifications, not pricing them out.”


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