Benchmarking the English school system against the best in the world
This paper explores the principles behind international benchmarking, how it is being carried out in different countries, what factors policymakers need to take into account when introducing benchmarks, and some potential pitfalls that they need to be aware of.
While the threat of foreign competition has long been used to justify education reforms, the use of international comparisons has reached something of a crescendo in recent years. In an attempt to improve their school systems, policymakers are increasingly turning to other countries for inspiration and ideas.
The interest in using international benchmarks to drive improvement has the potential to move debates beyond ‘shock reactions’ to our rank position in league tables. But it also raises fundamental questions about the purpose and design of international assessments, and how they can be used in a progressive way that reflects their limitations.
Jonathan Clifton, Senior Research Fellow
You may be interested in...
IPPR in the news
Net migration down by a third in a year
The Telegraph - 24 May 2013Dalia Ben-Galim on families (29 mins)
BBC Newsnight - 24 May 2013Minorities embrace Englishness, even as metropolitan whites shun it
The Economist - 24 May 2013Net migration to UK lowest in decade after fall in overseas students
Financial Times (£) - 24 May 2013
Number of immigrants at its lowest for a decade
Daily Mail - 24 May 2013UK’s immigration hits 10-year low
The Sun - 24 May 2013UK net migration shrinks further, official figures show
The Guardian - 24 May 2013Who benefits from welfare?
Prospect £ - 23 May 2013
UK higher education: let's not follow the leader but develop our own vision
The Guardian - 22 May 2013Mervyn King's housing warning is too little, too late
The Guardian - 21 May 2013Nigel Farage and Alex Salmond trade insults in battle of nationalists
The Guardian - 20 May 2013Local solutions are the key to full employment
New Statesman, Staggers blog - 20 May 2013
Exam fail kids are facing jobs woe
The Sun - 15 May 2013Will Ed Miliband be the Doctor Who of politics?
The Telegraph - 14 May 2013Labour will not be able to meet child poverty targets, says thinktank chief
The Guardian - 13 May 2013Slave-to-work dads ‘being squeezed out of family life,' says MP Jon Cruddas
Manchester Evening News - 13 May 2013
Laptop U: Has the future of college moved online?
The New Yorker - 13 May 2013Ed Cox on 'two-speed Britain'
Observer - 12 May 2013Francis Maude to consider fixed terms for top mandarins
Financial Times (£) - 12 May 2013Childcare reforms in chaos
Daily Mirror - 10 May 2013