According to the results (based on the skills and knowledge of 15 year old students around the world), the UK is still around average among OECD countries and well behind the world leaders in mathematics.
In science - the main area the report focuses on - UK students score above average and report positive attitudes towards the subject, and more of them than average expect to have a science related career.
Mike Ellicock, chief executive, National Numeracy said: “It’s great to see the UK’s improvement in science, with more young people interested in a science career, but it’s deeply disappointing that we don’t see the same improvement in maths. Our results are still only average and way behind the world leaders, with too many young people failing to reach the international baseline.”
Today’s report follows last week’s Trends in International Maths and Science Study, which showed primary and secondary students in England performing above average, but with relatively little change since four years ago. Both reports found that students in South East Asia continue to do very considerably better than most other countries.
Note on TIMSS: Northern Ireland was the highest performing country in Europe at primary level but did not take part at secondary level. Scotland and Wales did not take part at all.