English pupils' reading ability falls behind Shanghai peers, report finds
Department for Education study suggests English 15-year-olds are also trailing counterparts in South Korea and Finland.
English 15-year-olds' reading is more than a year behind the standard of teenagers in Shanghai, according to new analysis.
A study by the Department for Education suggests an English pupil who achieved eight Cs at GCSE would have to score 3As and 5Bs to match the attainment of their peers in Shanghai.
The analysis indicates that English pupils are also at least a year behind the reading standard of their counterparts in South Korea and Finland. Fifteen-year-olds in England are also at least six months behind those in Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and New Zealand.
Commenting on the findings, the schools minister, Nick Gibb, said:
"The gulf between our 15-year-olds' reading abilities and those from other countries is stark – a gap that starts to open in the very first few years of a child's education. The government's focus on raising standards of reading in the early years of primary school is key to closing that gap."
From next summer, six-year-olds in England will be given a new reading test, checking their ability to read using phonics, a technique based on sounding out letters and groups of letters.
Read more ... (The Guardian - 12 October)