UK lagging behind in education

British schools have failed to improve in recent years and are still lagging behind Asian nations on reading, science and maths, according to a major international study. The UK was 26th out of 65 for maths, 23rd for reading and 21st for science.

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School reforms 'inspired by top-ranking countries'

Education Secretary Michael Gove said the coalition government's reforms are driven by what happens in countries who performed better than the UK in English, maths and science in the international school league tables published today.

Read: UK education performance 'failing to improve'

Mr Gove said his radical reforms were inspired by what happens in Singapore, South Korea and Japan, which topped the performance charts. He said the top performing countries, certain common features occur, which he has placed at the heart of the Coalition strategy. They are:

  • Improving social justice
  • Providing a more rigorous curriculum
  • Giving schools greater autonomy
  • Giving head teachers greater powers to hire and fire

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