OECD Pisa education report: Reading and science scores climb as maths struggles

 
Billy Bambrough
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The results are based on tests taken by 15-year-olds in over 70 countries
The results are based on tests taken by 15-year-olds in over 70 countries (Source: Getty)

The UK is climbing the world rankings in both reading and science according to the latest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) international student assessments.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is undertaken once every three years and tests 15-year-olds' abilities in the core academic disciplines of reading, maths and science.

It found the UK is still lagging behind leading countries and has made little progress since the survey was done three years ago.

Scroll down for the full results

The maths result will cause some cause for concern, slipping down to 27th place from three years ago, the lowest since it began participating in the Pisa tests in 2000.

In reading, the UK is ranked 22nd, up from 23rd, having fallen out of the top 20 in 2006, while the UK's most successful subject is science, up from 21st to 15th place - climbing seven places in science to its highest since 2006, despite scoring a lower average score overall.

The UK has remained among the mid-table performers since the survey's inception at the turn of the millennium, with Singapore rated at the top and most of the highest places taken by Asian education systems.

Neil Carberry, CBI Director for People and Skills policy, said:

The drop in England’s overall performance will be a concern to businesses as well as to thousands of school teachers across the country who are doing a very challenging job. It’s particularly concerning as in the CBI’s latest report on regional growth our research shows that the fundamental driver of economic performance is education.

Businesses have a key role to play in improving every school across the country through joining governing bodies, offering clear routes to high-quality apprenticeships, careers advice and work experience, regardless of a young person’s background or where they live.

Science OECD average 493
1 Singapore 556
2 Japan 538
3 Estonia 534
4 Chinese Taipei 532
5 Finland 531
6 Macao (China) 529
7 Canada 528
8 Vietnam 525
9 Hong Kong (China) 523
10 B-S-J-G (China) 518
11 Korea 516
12 New Zealand 513
13 Slovenia 513
14 Australia 510
15 United Kingdom 509
16 Germany 509
17 Netherlands 509
18 Switzerland 506
19 Ireland 503
20 Belgium 502
21 Denmark 502
22 Poland 501
23 Portugal 501
24 Norway 498
25 United States 496
26 Austria 495
27 France 495
28 Sweden 493
29 Czech Republic 493
30 Spain 493
31 Latvia 490
32 Russia 487
33 Luxembourg 483
34 Italy 481
35 Hungary 477
36 Lithuania 475
37 Croatia 475
38 CABA (Argentina) 475
39 Iceland 473
40 Israel 467
41 Malta 465
42 Slovak Republic 461
43 Greece 455
44 Chile 447
45 Bulgaria 446
46 United Arab Emirates 437
47 Uruguay 435
48 Romania 435
49 Cyprus 433
50 Moldova 428
51 Albania 427
52 Turkey 425
53 Trinidad and Tobago 425
54 Thailand 421
55 Costa Rica 420
56 Qatar 418
57 Colombia 416
58 Mexico 416
59 Montenegro 411
60 Georgia 411
61 Jordan 409
62 Indonesia 403
63 Brazil 401
64 Peru 397
65 Lebanon 386
66 Tunisia 386
67 FYROM 384
68 Kosovo 378
69 Algeria 376
70 Dominican Republic 332

Reading

OECD average

493
1 Singapore 535
2 Canada 527
3 Hong Kong (China) 527
4 Finland 526
5 Ireland 521
6 Estonia 519
7 Korea 517
8 Japan 516
9 Norway 513
10 Macao (China) 509
11 New Zealand 509
12 Germany 509
13 Poland 506
14 Slovenia 505
15 Australia 503
16 Netherlands 503
17 Denmark 500
18 Sweden 500
19 Belgium 499
20 France 499
21 United Kingdom 498
22 Portugal 498
23 Chinese Taipei 497
24 United States 497
25 Spain 496
26 Russia 495
27 B-S-J-G (China) 494
28 Switzerland 492
29 Latvia 488
30 Vietnam 487
31 Czech Republic 487
32 Croatia 487
33 Austria 485
34 Italy 485
35 Iceland 482
36 Luxembourg 481
37 Israel 479
38 CABA (Argentina) 475
39 Lithuania 472
40 Hungary 470
41 Greece 467
42 Chile 459
43 Slovak Republic 453
44 Malta 447
45 Cyprus 443
46 Uruguay 437
47 United Arab Emirates 434
48 Romania 434
49 Bulgaria 432
50 Turkey 428
51 Trinidad and Tobago 427
52 Costa Rica 427
53 Montenegro 427
54 Colombia 425
55 Mexico 423
56 Moldova 416
57 Thailand 409
58 Jordan 408
59 Brazil 407
60 Albania 405
61 Qatar 402
62 Georgia 401
63 Peru 398
64 Indonesia 397
65 Tunisia 361
66 Dominican Republic 358
67 FYROM 352
68 Algeria 350
69 Lebanon 347
70 Kosovo 347

Maths OECD average 490
1 Singapore 564
2 Hong Kong (China) 548
3 Macao (China) 544
4 Chinese Taipei 542
5 Japan 532
6 B-S-J-G (China) 531
7 Korea 524
8 Switzerland 521
9 Estonia 520
10 Canada 516
11 Netherlands 512
12 Finland 511
13 Denmark 511
14 Slovenia 510
15 Belgium 507
16 Germany 506
17 Ireland 504
18 Poland 504
19 Norway 502
20 Austria 497
21 Vietnam 495
22 New Zealand 495
23 Australia 494
24 Sweden 494
25 Russia 494
26 France 493
27 United Kingdom 492
28 Portugal 492
29 Czech Republic 492
30 Italy 490
31 Iceland 488
32 Spain 486
33 Luxembourg 486
34 Latvia 482
35 Malta 479
36 Lithuania 478
37 Hungary 477
38 Slovak Republic 475
39 United States 470
40 Israel 470
41 Croatia 464
42 CABA (Argentina) 456
43 Greece 454
44 Romania 444
45 Bulgaria 441
46 Cyprus 437
47 United Arab Emirates 427
48 Chile 423
49 Moldova 420
50 Turkey 420
51 Uruguay 418
52 Montenegro 418
53 Trinidad and Tobago 417
54 Thailand 415
55 Albania 413
56 Mexico 408
57 Georgia 404
58 Qatar 402
59 Costa Rica 400
60 Lebanon 396
61 Colombia 390
62 Peru 387
63 Indonesia 386
64 Jordan 380
65 Brazil 377
66 FYROM 371
67 Tunisia 367
68 Kosovo 362
69 Algeria 360
70 Dominican Republic 328

The survey was launched in 2000, with around 540,000 students from 72 countries taking part in Pisa in 2015.

  • B-S-J-G (China) = Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Guangdong - Shanghai China was represented individually in 2012 and topped all three league tables. This year it has been combined with Beijing, Jiangsu and Guangdong and has seen a notable decline in the rankings.
  • FYROM = Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • CABA (Argentina) = Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (Autonomous City of Buenos Aires)

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