Gibb goes for greater internationalism and equality in education

UK School Standards Minister Nick Gibb has told his international counterparts that the English education system will remain outward-looking and internationalist after Brexit.

Speaking at a G7 meeting of education ministers in France, Minister Gibb reaffirmed his commitment to drawing on best-practice and evidence from across the world when looking to improve the education system.

He said, “Education transcends borders, nationalities and languages – and we are proud that our education system has taken in a wealth of influence from other countries around the world, not just our European neighbours. But it is not all one way – there are a host of countries that come to the UK to learn from what we do so well in our own schools and colleges and to learn about our reforms to the curriculum, to the teaching of reading and our academies and free schools programme.

“It is more important than ever that this approach continues in the coming months and years as we look to our international partners, in bringing forward even more vital improvements to our education system.”

GIbb also signed a Ministerial declaration stating that confronting inequality requires substantial efforts across borders to improve educational policies and systems. Ministers committed to share best practice and research evidence and unite against bullying in all its forms.Many of the government’s reforms introduced since 2010 have been based on successful practices identified in other countries, such as technical and vocational education in Germany and maths teaching in high-performing Asian countries such as Shanghai.
Primary school pupils in England, for example, are learning maths through a method of teaching based on that used in Shanghai – consistently ranked among the best for maths performance in the world.

Several other countries have also learned from the Department’s own education reforms, with the pupil premium beginning to be replicated in some states in Australia, which have noted the progress made on reducing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.

The phonics screening check was also introduced for Year 1 pupils in South Australia in 2018, while France and Estonia have recently expressed interest in the Department’s EdTech Strategy.The UK higher education system already has a global reputation for quality and, according to the QS World University Rankings, has 4 providers in the top 10. On the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), England achieved its highest ever score in reading in 2016, moving from joint 10th to joint 8th in the rankings following a greater focus on phonics in primary school.

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