Wandsworth: Emerging from the slum age
6:00am Monday 16th December 2013 in News
Forget Oxford and Cambridge, the best place to mingle with cerebral minds is Wandsworth, according to new figures released this month.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has found that 54 per cent of people in the borough have a degree, more than any other in the country.
In comparison, Oxford and Cambridge's population have a 42.6 per cent and 47 per cent "degree rate" respectively.
The popularity of the borough with the academic elite has been put down to the relatively low rents, very low council tax and large green spaces.
Other areas where more than 50 per cent of the population have a degree include Richmond, Kensington & Chelsea and Camden.
Ironically the intellect of our borough was reported a touch inaccurately in a Daily Mail article who had some interesting 'facts' about Wandsworth.
The article firstly claimed that Wandsworth was a "well known slum" but also that it retained this status until it was "cleared" in the late 20th Century.
A claim that many Wandsworthians, particularly those born in the dark ages of the 1970s and 1980s, will surely dispute?
The article then went on to suggest that Wandsworth is the largest borough by area an accolade which in fact belongs to Bromley.
But the practical defamation of Wandsworth does not end there. The Daily Mail story, penned by the mysterious Daily Mail Reporter, also claims the borough has the "lowest life expectancy" and "lowest GCSE pass rate".
A claim Wandsworth councillors, hard working officers and teachers will all contest - indeed only yesterday Ofsted produced a league table of primary and secondary school education standards that found the Brighter borough has some of the best schools in the land.
Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said: "The results show a close association between the level of qualifications and the deprivation of the area.
"Whether this is because of the lack of incentive to get qualifications or a deficiency in the local education system, this issue has to be investigated.
"It looks as though - from the PISA results - we are doing a lot less well as other countries at breaking the link between background and levels of educational achievement."