What did UNICEF say about UK education in 2013?

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Overall, UNICEF ranked UK 24th out of 29 developed countries for “educational welfare”. This low ranking was caused by the large percentage of 15-19 year-olds who were not in education, employment or training.

UNICEF considered four indicators to measure educational welfare. These were:

1 Pre-school enrolment (% of children between 4 years and the start of compulsory schooling) in the UK was high – 95%.

2 UK was at the bottom of the table for participation in “further education” (defined as education for 15-19 year-olds). UK was the only one of the 29 developed countries where the participation rate for this age group fell below 75%. UNICEF thought the cause may be an emphasis on academic exams combined with a wide range of vocational qualifications which did not have ‘parity of esteem’ or an ‘established value’ in the workplace.

3 The percentage of young people not in education, employment of training (NEET) was high. 9% of UK 15-19 year-olds are NEET. UK ranked 25th out of 29 on this indicator.

4 The educational achievement of UK pupils at age 15 was measured by an average of the scores in the three PISA tests (reading, maths and science) taken in 2009. UK was ranked 11th out of 29.

The full report can be downloaded here.

BBC articles summarising the UNICEF report are here and here.

Further details of the “educational welfare” findings are here.

8 December 2013