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The disturbing link between education and health

Doctors in a deprived town are unlikely to be blamed for the poor health of their patients. So why should teachers living in the same area be blamed for students’ lower-than-average exam results? Will Hazell explores the link between life expectancy and educational outcomes – and hears how the accountability regime is a burden on schools that face the greatest challenges to transform young lives

Contrasting privilege and poverty

We’re not making excuses. What we’re saying is this is the reality – this is what our children present with in the morning across the town.”

Andy Mellor is headteacher of St Nicholas Church of England Primary School in Blackpool. When pupils arrive through the gates, they are sometimes hungry or tired. Many of their parents are struggling to make ends meet and some have long-term health conditions, which means their children have to act as carers.

While St Nicholas has been rated as “outstanding” by Ofsted, educational outcomes for Blackpool as a whole are among the lowest in the country. At ...

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