COUNCIL leader Ken Meeson has hit back at claims that not enough has been done to close the education gap in Solihull.
This week, the charity Save the Children criticised several areas – including Solihull – for not doing more to help pupils from poorer backgrounds.
In the borough it said that only 24 per cent of poorer children received five good GCSEs, compared to 58 per cent of their better-off classmates.
But Coun Meeson, who is also cabinet member for children and young people, was critical of the findings – which were based on which youngsters received free-school meals.
“What they’ve done is taken raw data on one particular issue, what they haven’t done is look at the improvements year-on-year in Solihull,” he said.
The disparity in Solihull – particular between north and south has been discussed at length in recent years.
Coun Meeson said that a lot had been done to raise standards in some of the borough’s most deprived areas.
“Our strongest schools are getting involved. We had the headteacher from Arden seconded to Park Hall and that school has been turned round.
“We also supported the setting-up of the Grace Academy in Chelmsley Wood – which replaced a school that had struggled.
“And then of course there’s been the impact of the regeneration project, with new schools being built and more done to encourage people to stay in further education.”
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