'Urgent action' is needed to address school funding as those in the North lose out on hundreds of pounds per pupil compared to London, a report has found.
Funding for Northern schools has lagged behind the rest of the UK over the past decade while regional inequalities have risen since the pandemic, the report also said.
The education and health inequity report found children in the North of England are more likely to miss school than their Southern counterparts, often due to illness.
The report, prepared for the Child of the North All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), says performance in schools is poorer in the North too.
'The Child of the North: Addressing Education and Health Inequity' research, found children born into the least wealthy fifth of families in the UK are almost 13 times more likely to experience poor health and educational outcomes by the age of 17.
This has an impact on public services in later years, as the long-term consequences of poor education can lead to greater pressure on the NHS and the criminal justice system.
The Child of the North APPG members and report authors have called for 'urgent action' to be taken to address the issues identified, calling for an overhaul of the current school funding formula.
Over the past 10 years, ongoing inequalities in funding have meant schools in the North have received less money from the National Funding Formula (NFF) on average than their southern counterparts.
Pupils in London, the report found, received on average 9.7% more funding than those in the North.
Schools in London received around of £6,610 per pupil compared to £6,225, £5,956, and £5,938 in the North East, North West, and Yorkshire and The Humber respectively.
They found that children in the most affluent schools in the country had bigger real terms increases in funding than those in the most deprived ones, despite the added strain placed on schools in poorer areas.
This inequity corresponds with children in the North having higher school absences, including health and mental health absences, and worse educational performance.
According to the report, Northern schools support disproportionate numbers of children in poverty, children with poor levels of development on entering school, vulnerable children, children who have suffered from neglect and abuse, and children in local authority care.
Children in the North of England are also more likely to be born into unhealthy environments, the report states.
The report also says that many children in the North struggle to learn to read at an 'acceptable' rate.
In Manchester, standards in reading have slipped and the difference compared to national data has more than doubled since 2019.
Kim Johnson, MP for Liverpool Riverside, and vice-chair of the Child of the North APPG, said: “The findings of this report, which highlights the stark reality of the deepening trend of inequality between children born in the North and their southern counterparts are shocking, but unfortunately unsurprising.”
The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, said: “It is shocking, though sadly unsurprising, to read about the regional inequalities that children in the North are facing in our education system.
“There is a great need to re-evaluate our education funding, as well as partner with schools and local organisations, to better support the needs of children and young people.
“No child’s chances in life should be curtailed by their postcode.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Since 2010, our reforms have made a lasting improvement to the quality of education received by young people in England.
"The overall proportion of schools rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted has increased from 68% in 2010 to 88%, based on latest data.
"In the North East, this proportion is even higher at 90% and in the North West it’s 89%.
“Overall, funding will be at its highest ever level in real terms per pupil in 2024-25, as measured by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
"We are investing in 55 Education Investment Areas with around half located in the north where we are implementing a package of measures to drive school improvement and improve pupil outcomes.
“Before the pandemic, the disadvantage gap dropped by 9% between 2011 and 2019. To support education recovery we are providing £5 billion in extra support for millions of students, including £1.5 billion for tutoring.”