Feeds

Blighty's kids nosedive down global reading, maths rankings

Cans of whup-ass popped by Irish, Canada, even US

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Britain's schoolchildren have slipped down the international league in reading, maths and science, according to the latest batch of numbers from the OECD.

The organisation's biennial PISA study ranks international 15-year-olds by their performance in the three disciplines. This year the UK's schoolies gave a distinctly average showing on reading - scoring 494 points compared to an OECD average of 493 - and slightly worse on maths, scoring 492 compared to an international average of 496.

There was mild good news on the science front, with the up-and-coming generation getting 514 compared to the international average of 501. However, you can't help thinking they could have done even better had the kids been able to write up their experiments and results correctly.

Korea and Finland are the international OECD swots, with mean scores of 539 and 536 respectively on reading, demonstrating just how important a vibrant mobile phone industry and superfast broadband are to overall literacy.

However, even they were spanked by OECD partner country Shanghai-China, which achieved a whackingly large mean of 556. Shanghai-China also scored 600 on maths and 575 on science.

Overall, the UK placed 25th on the OECD's tables for reading, being comprehensively spanked by such literary giants as Canada (526) New Zealand (521) Australia (515), the US (500) and Ireland (496). And that's just the English-speaking world. Well, broadly speaking.

The story is similar with maths and science, with the UK coming in 28th and 16th respectively, although the UK does squeak in ahead of the US in those categories.

In 2000, the UK ranked fourth in science, seventh in reading and eighth in maths, in a sample of 32 countries. These positions changed to 17th on reading, 14th on science and 24th on maths in 2006, when the survey covered 57 countries.

If the UK wins out anywhere, it is in being resolutely average. Its results were classed as "not significantly different from the OECD average" except in science, and the reflect and evaluate, and non-continuous texts sections of the reading tests, where it was "statistically significantly above the OECD average".

Which is great news, as long as we face an international future where punching above our weight means being able to pontificate on scientific progress via text message. ®

Bootnotes

Of course, this does raise questions over the current student protests. Perhaps all the government needs to do is sit tight and wait for the current crop of undergrads to move on. The up-and-coming generation won't realise quite what an outrageous sum they're paying for their remedial degrees if the OECD's figures are anything to go by. And even if they do, they'll be incapable of writing any protest placards.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.