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England among highest in Western world

  • December 6, 2023
  • 2 min read
England among highest in Western world

Pupils in England have risen in the international rankings for maths, placing the country as one of the top performing countries in the western world. A worldwide education study published on the 5th December shows that England significantly outperformed the international average, rising from seventeenth in maths in 2018 to eleventh. Back in 2009, England was ranked twenty-seventh in the subject.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international assessment of 15-year-olds mathematics, reading, and science abilities. Conducted by the OECD, it is widely accepted as the international benchmark for academic attainment for secondary school pupils.

“These strong results demonstrate that the government has made real progress in driving up standards,” the government said in a press release. “We are determined to build on this success and take the long-term decisions necessary to improve attainment for generations to come.”

To that end, in October, the prime minister set out a “bold new plan” to introduce a new baccalaureate style qualification. The Advanced British Standard (ABS) will see every student in England study some form of Maths and English up to the age of 18. This hopes to give them the skills needed to succeed. The government has also announced an investment of £60 million over two years to further improve maths education and lay the groundwork for the introduction of the ABS.

The results also show that England has ranked thirteenth for both reading and science, having been placed at fourteenth and thirteenth respectively in 2018 and twenty-fifth and sixteenth in 2009. This builds on the “significantly improved position for 9- to 10-year-olds reading ability in a separate international study earlier this year, PIRLS. That saw English children ranked fourth out of 43 competing countries and putting them at the top among Western nations.

“Education standards,” the government says, “have risen sharply since 2010, with 89% of schools now rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, up from just 68% 13 years ago.”

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