The Institute for Fiscal Studies is not always a very progressive organisation, but its latest research on education and inequality is worth reading, espcially comparing the UK with other European and OECD countries. This is the introduction from the Institute’s media release:
“Education levels have risen over time, in the UK and internationally. The share of students achieving at least five good GCSEs or equivalent increased from under 40% in the early 1990s to a high of 82% in 2012, while the share of the working-age population with a degree has more than doubled since 2000 – from just under 20% in 2000 to just over 40% in 2020.
“Despite rising qualifications, England stands out internationally for nearly non-existent improvements in skills when making comparisons across generations. In virtually all OECD countries, literacy and numeracy skills are substantially higher among young people aged 16–24 than among the older generation (aged 55–65). England is the exception to the rule: while its 55- to 65-year-olds perform relatively well, especially in literacy, young people in England have not improved on these skills at all. That has left England ranked 25th out of 32 countries in terms of the literacy skills of its young people”
This is the link to the IFS site and its full report: