Major international study reveals insights into teaching and learning


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Image credit: Flickr // DFID. Image credit: Flickr // DFID.

In conjunction with Lamar University, we present the ITEGS Report (International Test of Early Grade Skills). With a sample size over 290,000, it's the largest study of foundational reading and numeracy skills in the 5-9 age bracket across multiple countries. ITEGS offers a unique comparative snapshot across countries (and states/regions) during the very critical foundational skill acquisition period. It helps identify educational jurisdictions that are having greatest success with their students.

The study enables each country to examine the impact of their educational policies and practices in early literacy and numeracy, and in so doing, drive towards increased outcomes for children.

ITEGS grants awards to the countries who achieve the greatest success with their lowest quartile of students. We pay special attention to the lowest quartile, as these represent those at greatest risk of not acquiring the skills needed to fully participate in society. In 2017, the Reading Skills Award goes to the USA, and the Numeracy Skills Award winner is Hong Kong.

The data highlights some key global trends:

  • In numeracy, Hong Kong students are about three years ahead of Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, UK and US children - this is evident from 5.5 years of age.
  • The US is best at improving its weaker students.
  • There is a substantial widening in the gap between high and low performing readers in the UK and New Zealand.
  • The data suggests that girls are about three months ahead of boys at reading (especially in the lowest quartile), while boys are three to six months ahead of girls in numeracy (especially in the highest quartile).

From a UK perspective, we can reveal:

Reading Skills

  • Highest-performing regions at age 5.5 - East Midlands and London.
  • Highest-performing regions at age 8.5 - South East and London.
  • Greatest improvement between age 5.5 and 8.5 for all students - South East and Scotland.
  • Greatest improvement between age 5.5 and 8.5 for lowest quartile of students - Yorkshire.

Numeracy Skills

  • Highest performing region at age 5.5 - London and East Midlands.
  • Highest performing region at age 8.5 - South East and North West.
  • Greatest improvement between age 5.5 and 8.5 for all students - North West.
  • Greatest improvement between age 5.5 and 8.5 for lowest quartile of students - West Midlands, North West and East Anglia.

To read the full report, visit

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