22 per cent of 15 year olds struggling with maths, report finds

22 per cent of pupils aged 15 in the UK are struggling with maths in school, according to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The report, entitled ‘Low-Performing Students: why they fall behind and how to help them succeed’, also found that 17 per cent of 15 year olds are underperforming in reading, as well as 15 per cent in science.

11 per cent of students, on average, were found to be struggling across all three subject areas, ranking the UK 21st out of 64 countries examined by the OECD, behind countries such as Poland and Vietnam. However, the report also found that no participating country could claim that all of its 15-year-old students have achieved a baseline level of proficiency in maths, reading and science.

The survey looked at data provided from the 64 participating countries from 2003-12 and found that students who are low performers at age 15 are more likely to drop out of school and less likely to attain better-paying jobs.

Andreas Schleicher, OECD's director for education and skills, said: "The social and economic gains from tackling low performance dwarf any conceivable cost of improvement.

"Education policy and practice can help overcome this issue. It needs to be made a priority and given the necessary resources so that every child can succeed at school."

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