A north-south divide in GCSE results across England has been highlighted by educational data specialist SchoolDash.
The organisation mapped provisional results for the last academic year on a map to see where attainment levels were highest and found that pupils in the south of England are performing better than their counterparts in the north.
After drawing a dividing line between the Severn estuary and the Wash, SchoolDash found that the number of pupils getting five GCSEs including maths and English was 4.7 per cent higher in the south.
This compares with 4.8 per cent in the previous year, which indicates that while the gap is narrowing, it is closing at a very slow pace.
Indeed, the disparity is even more stark given that it was just 2.8 per cent in 2013 and 1.8 per cent in 2012.
Timo Hannay, founder of SchoolDash, said the figures can be interpreted in a number of ways.
"A pessimist might say that the north-south gap in GCSE attainment has been around for years and has increased of late, so we would expect to see it continue or even grow," he commented.
"An optimist might counter that we're now seeing good GCSE performance spread beyond London and the south-east and that we might expect it to spread north too."
Furthermore, Mr Hannay noted that regional trends in London have demonstrated that economic deprivation does not necessarily lead to educational underperformance.
He stated he tends to lean towards the latter point of view. However, Mr Hannay said the truth is that "only time and data" will tell.
Posted by Harriet McGowan