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News - 18 February 2013

UK weak in school fairness rankings


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) produces rankings of school performance - but it has now published an analysis of fair opportunities for pupils.

This OECD study compares the reading skills of teenagers against the levels of social equity.

It shows that Shanghai in China, South Korea and Finland are among top performers in both results and equity.

The UK is successful in results, but weaker in fairness.

"On average across OECD countries, disadvantaged students are twice as likely to be among the poorest performers in reading compared to advantaged students," says the report, based on an analysis of tests taken in 2009.

At the top end of the international spectrum, Shanghai, Finland, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and the Netherlands are among a select group of school systems with very high results and high levels of fairness, where pupils can succeed regardless of background.

The UK belongs to a group of countries, including France, Germany and the United States, that are above average for results, but have lower levels of equity.

A Department for Education source said:
"This is unacceptable, and it is why we are raising standards by giving teachers stronger discipline powers, tackling underperforming schools, improving exams, and attracting the brightest graduates into teaching. The pupil premium, targeted specifically at the poorest children and worth £900 per pupil in 2013-14, will help schools raise attainment."

Peter Ham Auditor and Head of Schools and Charities at ABDS comments:
“The government are seeking to raise standards by giving teachers stronger discipline powers, tackling underperforming schools, improving exams, and attracting the brightest graduates into teaching.”

If you need any help and advice on Schools and or Charities, contact ABDS to discuss how we can help.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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