The geographical divide between high performing schools in England has got wider, says a report.

The Education Policy Institute says that between 2010 and 2015, secondary schools in London took a greater share of where pupils are most likely to make better progress.

However, the same report highlights that secondary schools in the north east and North are being left behind.

The report also highlights worries over social mobility which is now increasingly affected by where the family is living.

For example, the report writers say that families in London have a greater chance of attending a good school than a pupil who is similarly deprived in other parts of England.

Issue of widening inequality in high performing schools is “shocking”

The former education minister David Laws is the think tank’s chairman and he said that the issue of widening inequality in high performing schools is “shocking”.

He said: “It’s shocking in recent years seeing access to high-quality secondary schools becoming more unequal.

“In a fifth of areas, children can access a quality school place and government rhetoric on spreading opportunity is not matched by pupils’ experiences in the North and parts of the Midlands.”

For the purposes of the study, the report highlights that high performing schools are not those that necessarily have the best exam results or have been rated as good or outstanding.

Instead, they are rated as high performing if they are in the top third for how much pupils progress after starting secondary school.

High performing schools have been recognised

In London, the number of boroughs that are pulling ahead include Harrow, Camden and Ealing where schools with the greatest increases of a high performing schools have been recognised.

Using the measure, of the top 20 authorities in England, 16 of them are in London.

Those authorities said to have a decreasing number of these schools are in the Midlands and the North including Warrington, Dudley, Derby and Blackburn.

Despite this, youngsters in Hartlepool and Blackpool are said to have the least access to a local secondary school where a pupil’s progress would be recognised as being the top third by national standards.

But it’s not all about levels of deprivation since the report highlights that Haringey has 29% of pupils who are eligible for free school meals and yet the area has the highest density of successful schools in the country.

A Department for Education spokesman said there were social mobility plans in place that will help improve the chances to access better performing schools around the country.

The leader of the ASCL headteachers’ union, Geoff Barton, called for better funding so high-quality teachers can be recruited and for a longer term approach to be installed for retaining the best headteachers and teachers.