‘The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published the results of their international student assessments today, revealing that the UK is climbing the world rankings in both reading and science.
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is undertaken once every three years and tests 15-year-olds' abilities in the core academic disciplines of reading, maths and science.
Launched in 2000, around 540,000 students from 72 countries took part in PISA in 2015, with today's results revealing the top performing countries around the world.
According to the data, the UK has climbed seven places in science, despite scoring a lower average score overall.
This year's report, which has a science focus, revealed that the country has climbed from 21st place in 2012 to 15th place in 2015, despite a fall in point score from 514 to 509.
The UK has also climbed two places for reading, rising from 23rd to 21st despite the average point score falling from 499 to 498 in three years.
Furthermore, girls in the UK are still outperforming boys in these assessments, scoring, on average, 22 more points than their male peers. Boys are also six percentage points more likely to be low-performers in the subject.
However, despite attempts to replicate the educational practices of East Asian countries, the UK's performance in maths has fallen, with the UK dropping from 26th to 27th in the rankings with a decrease in average point score from 494 to 492.
According to the data, some 22 per cent of 15-year-olds in the UK do not reach Level 2 - the baseline level of achievement - which means they cannot solve problems "routinely faced by adults in their daily lives".’ - Telegraph
‘After the last round of rankings, published in 2013, there were warnings from ministers in England that results were "stagnating" - and reforms were promised to match international rivals.
But Russell Hobby, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, warned that the results showed "a lost decade" in which the government had pursued an "obsession" with structural change which had "little impact on either standards or equity".
Nick Gibb, England's School Standards Minister, described the results as a "useful insight".
He said they showed the need to "make more good school places available" in grammar schools and announced £12m to support professional training for science teaching.
Within the devolved UK education systems, Wales had the lowest results at every subject.
Mr Schleicher said reforms in Wales had yet to make an impact and it was too early see if they would be successful.
At present Wales' performance in reading puts it only a few places above parts of the UAE, Argentina and Colombia.
Dylan William, of the UCL Institute of Education, urged caution on the results for Wales - saying changes took a long time to filter through and it could be another decade before rankings would reflect what was happening in today's classrooms.’ - BBC News