Press release

UK 'stagnates' in global school test

03 December 2013


An OECD report (OECD PISA) reveals that for the first time, the UK does not make the top 20 in any subject, in international tests taken by 15 year olds in maths, reading and science.

Stephanie Fernandes, IET Principal Policy Advisor, said: “GCSEs in the STEM subjects are the first crucial stepping stone to progressing into not just the engineering and technology sector but a wide range of careers and it is therefore crucial that a high level of uptake and attainment is achieved.

“However, GCSEs do not always provide the level of practical experience that employers need.  The IET’s Skills & Demand in Industry Report 2013 showed that 42 per cent of employers have expressed disappointment with the skills of new employees. This can be addressed in schools via work experience placements or by completing an apprenticeship after students have taken their GCSEs.

“It is vital that we encourage more students, particularly females, to study these key enabling subjects. Currently, some students effectively rule themselves out of an engineering career by not studying maths and science.  We must change this so that students can make informed subject choices.”

Media enquiries to:

Robert Beahan
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7595 400912
Email: rbeahan@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

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