Policy priority 3: A longer term vision

Address low skills levels, particularly in and around Peterborough

  • Tackle poor school performance in Peterborough
  • Improve the qualifications of those already in work

Tackle poor school performance in Peterborough

Fewer than half of the pupils who left schools in Peterborough in 2015 achieved five good GCSEs including English and Maths, the eighth worst performance of all cities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The large number of lower skilled jobs available in the city means that those pupils who don’t achieve strong grades still have a good chance of getting a job, and youth unemployment is a relatively small problem. But the lack of qualifications is likely to hold back their future career progression, while a lower skilled workforce will also make it difficult to attract higher-skilled business investment into the area.

Working with the Regional Schools Commissioner, the metro mayor should set out guiding principles for schools in the area, with particular focus on improving achievement in Maths and English, including setting attainment targets on these subjects. The mayor should also look at what lessons can be learned from the University of Cambridge’s creation of a primary and secondary school in the city, and assess whether a similar approach could help improve attainment in Peterborough.

Improve the skills of those already in work

The new metro mayor will have a number of powers and responsibilities over how adult skills money is spent, namely control of funding for adult skills and money to encourage apprenticeships. Using the recommendations from the Government’s forthcoming review of post 16 education and training in the area, the new metro mayor should use this money to help improve the qualifications of those already in work, particularly around core skills of numeracy and literacy.