WORTHING residents are the most well-educated in the country with only a small minority leaving education without any qualifications, a report has found.
The 2014 Centre for Cities report, which ranked 64 towns and cities on a range of factors, found just 4.4 per cent of residents had no qualifications at all – one per cent ahead of nearest rival, Cambridge.
The town also ranked in the top 10 in six other categories.
The news delighted mayor Bob Smytherman, who has long championed the town.
He said: “To be top of the list in terms of qualifications is an amazing achievement.
“So few people are leaving school with no qualifications at all, which I can only put down to our excellent education system in the town.
“It really bodes well for the future.”
Northbrook College principal Sue Dare said she was unsurprised that the town had been rated highly for education.
She said: “I’m not surprised by the report. Schools and colleges work to support every pupil to achieve, and education in Worthing schools and colleges is improving. This is apparent in last year’s GCSE results and Northbrook’s excellent OFSTED inspection.
“At Northbrook we are noticing an increase in degree-level students from Worthing. Plans for changes to the age of transfer and a new school will further strengthen education in Worthing.”
The town also came ninth for innovation, with 7.6 patents granted per 100,000 people, while the latest number of residents claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance, 1.9 per cent, good enough for eighth lowest.
Access to super-fast broadband (fifth) and the level of Co2 emissions (seventh) were also ahead of larger towns and cities.
Worthing Borough Council leader Paul Yallop said the area had often featured in previous versions of the report but this year was its ‘best ever’ performance.
He said: “I think it’s a vote of confidence in Worthing as a place to live and come and do business.
“One of the council’s corporate priorities was to encourage businesses into the area and with statistics like this, I hope more will continue to come to the town.”
For the full story, see the Worthing Herald, out Thursday, February 6.