London schools outperform other English cities

Anyone who's brought up kids in London will have had the lecture at least once: Someone holding forth about how awful it must be to grow up in the capital - that failure to move out when your kids hit primary school is tantamount to child abuse.

Top of the list of London's imagined failings, neck-and-neck with a lack of ready access to farm animals, is usually the state of London's schools. Well, here's a map (courtesy of the excellent CityMetric) of UK cities based on results from last year's GCSE results.

Only Cambridge, Gloucester and York match London's performance - with 20 out of 30 children gaining at least five A*-C grades, including maths and English. In the last two decades, London's schools have been improving rapidly, helped by a combination of a highly-educated population and highly-motivated immigrant communities. CityMetric notes:

The example of London shows that social background should not be as a big factor in educational attainment as it currently is across the country. More than a fifth of pupils in the capital come from disadvantaged backgrounds – yet attainment rates in this group are higher in London than anywhere else in the country, with nearly 1 in 2 disadvantaged students gaining five good GCSEs.