Standards in English Primary Education: The International Evidence

Chris Whetton, Graham Ruddock, Liz Twist

01 October 2007

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This review was specially commissioned for the Primary Review and examines international survey evidence on the performance of English children of primary school age in relation to those from other countries. It starts by setting out the context of these international surveys and specifies those which are discussed here. It examines the methodological basis of the surveys, noting criticisms and problems, before considering the survey findings in mathematics, reading and science. The strengths and limitations of the data are assessed, and implications for the future international monitoring of educational standards are identified.