The Education Committee is to question George Osborne in his role as Chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) on the current state of education in the north of England and how to improve schools and training.

The former Chancellor will be joined on the panel by Vice-Chair Lord Jim O'Neill and Director Henri Murison.

The NPP was set up in 2016 to represent the voice of business and civic leaders across the North. It published its third report on Educating the North in February.

Questioning is likely to focus on ways to improve education in the North and its role in raising productivity and prosperity in the region, as well as what can be done to help disadvantaged pupils and address inequalities.

Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Committee, said: “George Osborne has been the driving force of the Northern Powerhouse and its efforts to boost the local economy by investing in skills and innovation.

It is crucial that the gap in education and skills between the North of England and other parts of England is closed. Where a child happens to live and go to school should not negatively impact on their future; all must get the resources and support they need to thrive in their careers ahead.

The NPP’s valuable report on ‘Educating the North’ highlighted the importance of high-quality education and skills, focussing on areas such as early years, career pathways, and apprenticeships and college learning.

As a Committee we look forward to questioning George Osborne and Lord O’Neill on their views on how to ensure children and young people in the North have the chance to climb the ladder of opportunity.”


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Witness schedule

Wednesday 2 May, Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster

At 10am

  • Rt Hon George Osborne, Chair, Northern Powerhouse Partnership
  • Lord Jim O’Neill, Vice-Chair, Northern Powerhouse Partnership
  • Henri Murison, Director, Northern Powerhouse Partnership

The session will be broadcast live on Parliament TV.

Committee Membership: Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP (Con, Harlow), Lucy Allan MP (Con, Telford), Michelle Donelan MP (Con, Chippenham), Marion Fellows MP (SNP, Motherwell and Wishaw), James Frith MP (Lab, Bury North), Emma Hardy MP (Lab, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle), Trudy Harrison MP (Con, Copeland), Ian Mearns MP (Lab, Gateshead), Lucy Powell MP (Lab Co-op, Manchester Central), Thelma Walker MP (Lab, Colne Valley), William Wragg MP (Con, Hazel Grove)

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