Ofsted is warning of a growing north-south divide in the performance of our schools.
It says children who live in smaller northern towns are much less likely to attend a good or outstanding secondary school than if they lived in the south of England.
The education watchdog says the difference is in the quality of leadership and teaching.
Secondary schools in Blackpool, Oldham, Liverpool, Knowsley, St Helens and Salford are giving cause for concern.
This report from Ralph Blunsom:-
A man from Liverpool who strangled his 17-year-old girlfriend has been jailed for life, for a second time. Callum Wilcocks was found guilty of the murder of Kelsey Shaw in 2011, but the conviction was quashed on appeal. At his re-trial, Wilcocks denied murder, claiming he had a severe personality disorder. But today he was convicted again and told he would serve at least 16 years.
Police in Greater Manchester are hunting two men who conned a vulnerable man out of thousands of pounds. They called at his home in Walkden earlier this year and tried to convince him that work was needed to repair the roof on his house, at a cost of sixty thousand pounds. The 63 year old said he didn't want the work doing but the men continued to phone him for two months before they convinced him it needed carrying out. He gave them thousands of pounds but no work was ever done.
Experts have been unable to interpret evidence that a victim of the Hillsborough disaster opened his eyes momentarily during rescue attempts, a court has heard.
A fan who helped carry Ian Glover to the gymnasium at Sheffield Wednesday's football ground said he saw the 20 year old's eyes flicker during CPR. But Dr Jasmeet Soar, a specialist in resuscitation research, said it had been "quite hard" to interpret the signs. He said: "They could mean anything from a brief restoration of a circulation to that [the witness] was mistaken." The expert added that even if the witness had accurately reported some eye movement, it would not necessarily indicate that Mr Glover was going into cardiac arrest at that point.
Detectives investigating the death of a woman in Salford have been given more time to question a man. The body of 36 year old Sian Roberts was discovered at a property on St. Helier's Drive in Salford on Sunday. She had died of stab wounds. A 36 year old man is being questioned.
The trial of a man accused of murdering a mother-of-two earlier this year has begun in Liverpool. 36-year-old Alison Wilson died after 27-year-old Stephen Duggan allegedly jabbed a broken wine bottle into her neck in Widnes in March. She was trying to break up an argument between him and another woman. She died six days later. Duggan pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murder.
The 2016 Budget will be held on Wednesday, March 16, Chancellor George Osborne has told MPs.