International Survey Measures Key Levels of Performance in UK Schools

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11th December 2012 15:27 - Education


A global study by the Amsterdam-based International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) has shown how well schools in different countries are performing.

The research compared dozens of countries based on assessments carried out at various times on hundreds of thousands of student samples.

The Pirls assessment (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) has seen Britain making progress in schools for reading ability – England is now ranked 11th out of 45 nations, compared to 15th from 40 countries in the 2006 study.

Meanwhile the Timms assessment (Trends in International Maths and Science Study), for students aged around 10 and around 14, has found the UK holding steady for maths achievement compared to the previous survey.

British children did not fare well on the science front however – both age groups have lost years of gradual gains, reverting back to the scores seen in the first such study in 1995.

Junior Education Minister and Tory MP Elizabeth Truss believes the UK should more closely mirror the hard-edged educational policies of Singapore, Korea and Hong Kong. She claims the lack of progress in maths and a drop in science is connected to the end of compulsory tests for all 11-year-olds, adding that the current results are "a real concern".


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