Area Of Glasgow Worst For Qualifications

North east Glasgow's come out at the bottom of a table for the worst level of education across the UK.

More than one-third of working age people there have no school qualifications.

The University and College Union (UCU), which published the table of UK parliamentary constituencies, said it showed the "extreme'' differences across the country.

Parts of Glasgow and the surrounding area were named as four of the worst 10 areas in Britain.

Glasgow East ranked third with 29% of people having no qualifications.

In stark contrast, just 4.4% of people aged 16 to 64 in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine had none.

Other high performing areas included Edinburgh West, Gordon in the north-east, parts of the Highlands, Orkney and Shetland.

The UCU highlighted a Glasgow-Edinburgh divide, saying children in worse areas may not be able to fulfil their potential.

Every Edinburgh constituency was placed in the top third for educational achievement across Britain. Each constituency in Glasgow was below British average.

Sally Hunt, UCU general secretary, said: "There is a clear Glasgow-Edinburgh divide in Scotland. One city with education and the massive personal benefits it can bring, and the other without.

Education is central to people's future, yet in some areas thousands of people still have no qualifications.

There is a real danger that children growing up in places where it is not unheard of to have no qualifications will have their ambition blunted and never realise their full potential.''

The top 10 was filled by English constituencies. The best performing Scottish constituency, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, ranked 607th out of the total 632 constituencies.

The percentage of people in Glasgow North East with no qualifications was 35.3.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The Scottish Government is committed to raising attainment and ambition across the board and in every part of Scotland - and we want to ensure that every child and young person in Scotland has the best possible chance to succeed.

A range of initiatives from the early years right up to 16 and beyond, such as Play, Talk, Read and the Literacy Action Plan, are working alongside Curriculum for Excellence to transform education for all children and young people in Scotland, with a particular focus on those who need more choices and more chances.

This is backed by our commitment to ensuring Scottish students studying at Scottish universities will not pay tuition fees, meaning that education in Scotland will continue to be based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay.''

Liz Smith MSP, Scottish Conservative education spokeswoman, said: "These figures highlight the lack of opportunity and life chances for too many people in Scotland.

Although some people inevitably work their way up without any assistance, this is by no means true for the majority and we need stable mechanisms in place to help everyone realise their potential.

This has to start in school, where youngsters from every walk of life need to be inspired to understand what they can achieve. We must also widen access for university entrants, which is one reason why we backed a budget in February that delivered #15 million in extra bursary support.

Compulsory enterprise training in our higher education institutions will also help grow our economy and ensure that more people can make the most of new opportunities available to them,'' she added.

A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: "Glasgow continues to make very good progress in closing the attainment gap with a year on year reduction in exclusions, the best ever exam results last year and an increase in positive destination figures in 2010.

We will continue to work hard to ensure every Glasgow young person has the opportunity to excel and leaves school with the skills and confidence to equip them for later life.
Each year we build on this success and the council is committed to improve the life chances of every young person in our schools. One of the council's key priorities.

For a number of years Glasgow has been leading the way in a range of alternative qualifications - matching the individual educational needs of the pupil and youngsters have been very successful in gaining vocational qualifications in partnership with Glasgow's colleges."