The report found that just 1.7% of England's 15-year-olds reached the highest level, Level 6, in maths, compared with an OECD average of 3.1%.
In Switzerland and Korea, 7.8% of pupils reached this level.
Overall, England ranked 26th out of 34 OECD countries for the proportion of pupils reaching the top level in maths, behind other nations like Slovenia (3.9%), the Slovak Republic (3.6%) France (3.3%) and the Czech Republic (3.2%), which were among those scoring around the OECD average.
These figures show that few bright non-privileged students reach their academic potential - which is unfair and a tragedy ”
Sir Peter LamplSutton Trust
The report adds that the situation looks worse for England when a wider global comparison is used.
Singapore, which is not part of the OECD table analysed, saw 15.6% of its students score the top level, while in Hong Kong and Shanghai, which were also not part of the OECD table, 10.8% and 26.6% respectively got the top level.
Sutton Trust chairman Sir Peter Lampl said: "This is a deeply troubling picture for any us who care about our brightest pupils from non-privileged backgrounds."
The study also suggests that comparing the maths results of 18-year-olds would be even more stark because 90% of English pupils drop the subject after GCSE.
Whereas in many other countries, maths is compulsory up to the age of 18.
The report argues that England is falling down international tables because of successive failures to help the most able pupils.
So assuming that it takes 5 years to fix something like this, who were the ministers at the head of the education ministry going back to 2002 or so?
Ruth Kelly, she has now left politics and is working as an economist.
Alan Johnson is now an MP
Ed Balls is currently the Shadow Chancellor.
Michael Gove is the current Minister.
sighs. Good heavens. So what have the 2 respective parties saying?
Education Secretary Michael Gove added: "We already knew that under Labour we plummeted down the international league tables in maths. "Now we see further evidence that they betrayed bright children from poor backgrounds and - worst of all - that their policies drove talented children from disadvantaged backgrounds away from the subjects that employers and universities value most."
Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg said: "Results for all pupils, including the brightest, improved under Labour. "While there are always improvements that could be made, gifted and talented pupils were stretched through a National Academy, targeted scholarships and a new A* grade at A-level. "While we want to see bright pupils stretched, this can't be at the expense of leaving some behind. Michael Gove's plans will create a two tier exam system, which will do nothing to help all pupils make the most of their potential."
What the hell? Whose head has rolled because of several years of under performance? Look at what the moronic Stephen Twigg says, listen, you muppet, the point was to stretch the top guys. He totally missed the point, but then the Labour government has screwed it up anyway, so one cannot just trust these buggers with anything. But to be so intellectually stupid? And he is supposed to be the chap who is supposed to look after what the government is doing? God save our kids. So what is our Government’s plans? Oh! good, its to blame the previous government. /facepalm. I like your strategy, Mr. Gove. I don't want you to blame others, I want you to fix the bloody thing. What are you doing about it?
so what are the teachers saying about the diabolical performance?
Commenting on the Sutton Trust’s analysis of the performance of highly able pupils in international league tables, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“No one would wish highly able children to achieve anything less than their best. It is the case that approaches to Maths across OECD countries differ. Jurisdictions which prize critical thinking and problem solving as well as creativity are the areas in which young people – highly able or otherwise – do well in Pisa tests.
“The creation of additional elements in league tables is not the way to improve outcomes for the ‘highly able’ students. A broad curriculum in which critical thinking is prized would be. The NUT hopes that the Department for Education will have regard to this when the secondary curriculum review is published, and will reflect on it as responses come in to the primary curriculum review.”
/facepalm. What a load of pap and stupid utterances. This is the comment from another teaching union head.
Nasuwt teaching union head Chris Keates said the tests used to draw the comparisons, and the way children prepare for them, differed between countries. "Their conclusions raise more questions than they answer. They are not comparing like with like. "The education systems are different. The pupils taking the tests are selected differently. Some countries do nothing but prepare for the tests for months. Some, like Shanghai may not enter a pupil sample generally reflective of the student population and use crammer sessions to prepare."
ooooo, that’s a new one, Chris, so the test itself was bad, our students are all math geniuses and great. /facepalm. Great leadership there.
End result? nobody is talking about actually doing anything, the politicians are blaming each other, one teacher head is blaming the government and the other is blaming the tests themselves.
My poor children of my nation.