Education & Skills

Wakefield district has a lower skills profile than the Leeds City Region (LCR) and England (see table below). The proportion of the population aged 16-64 with Level 4 skills has increased over the past decade but the gaps to the LCR and to England widened (see graph below). More recently, however, there is evidence that the gaps are narrowing again.

Source: ONS Annual Population Survey (nomis API)
Period: ?

Source: ONS Annual Population Survey (nomis API)

As well as gaps existing between Wakefield and elsewhere, within the district young people from disadvantaged backgrounds do markedly less well than other children. Even at the Foundation Stage, there are marked differences in achievement for children from poorer backgrounds. In 2019, 74% of children not eligible for free school meals (FSM) achieved a good level of development, while only 54% of pupils known to be eligible for FSM achieved this standard. There is a similar gap across England as a whole.

Similar gaps exist at all the key stages in a young person’s education (see chart below). The largest gap occurs when young people have reached 18 or 19 and are taking up higher education (HE). By this time, students from non-disadvantaged backgrounds are three-times more likely to enter HE than students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The equivalent gap across England is smaller, at 1.7-times.

Key Stage 4 is where local performance is closest to the England average for pupils from disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged backgrounds. And although the disadvantaged group do less well the gap is smaller at KS4 than at any other key stage, with the same pattern seen across England as a whole.

Source: Department for Education