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Nacro’s analysis of Government data, released last week shows, one in seven (13%) disadvantaged young people in the North West who have been in care or on free school meals are not in education, employment or on an apprenticeship compared with one in 25 (4%) of their better off peers.

The data released last week also shows the North West is the region with the second highest gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students. Cheshire West and Chester is the Local Authority with the biggest disadvantage gap in the North West, at 15%.

Nationally, the number of 16-year-olds who are classified as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) is at its highest levels since 2012.

Nacro is campaigning to remove the barriers which hold back disadvantaged young people from achieving their potential. The charity, which runs education and skills centres throughout the country, want to see an extension to the Pupil Premium funding for disadvantaged students to 18, currently this ends at 16.

Elise Temple, Director of Education and Skills, Nacro, said: “The disadvantage gap remains stubbornly wide. Despite Government promises to level up education and help disadvantaged young people, yesterday’s statistics show more needs to be done.

“We must introduce a Pupil Premium Plus, giving schools and colleges specific funding for each disadvantaged young person. This would enable them to tailor help to the pupil’s needs, be it tutoring, holistic help, or extra support.

“This is the only way we can truly level the playing field for all pupils and ensure that no young person is left behind.”

Nacro are a national charity helping thousands of people every day through our housing, justice and education services. We house, we educate, we support, we advise, and we speak out for and with disadvantaged young people and adults. We are passionate about changing lives. We never give up.