NGO says Spain’s poorest students at disadvantage

Spanish students from poor families held back four times as often. Photo: Save the Children / 20minutos
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Child-rights campaigning organization Save the Children España has said that children from poorer families in Spain are four times more likely to be held back to repeat a year of school than are students from more privileged backgrounds.

Basing its analysis on the recently released results of the OECD’s annual Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA 2018, the Spanish affiliate of Save the Children says that Spain has the fourth-highest rate of students repeating a year of school among the 37 OECD countries ranked in the PISA 2018 survey, with a 28.7 percent repeat rate versus an 11.4 percent average across all the countries surveyed.

► News Sources: Europa Press/20minutos, El País and EFE/La Vanguardia …

When it comes to children from the poorest backgrounds, the repeat rate sharply deteriorates, says Save the Children, with Spain having the second-highest rate of repetion of a year of school among children from under-privileged backgrounds, second only to Slovakia, where students from poorer families repeat 4.3 times as often as those from privileged backgrounds.

According to Save the Children, the Spanish region of Madrid comes off worst among Spain’s regional communities in terms of segregation of disadvantaged students in the same schools, second worldwide only to Chile in that respect.

► Download PDF in English of PISA 2018 report on Spain …

Whereas Spain as a whole has managed to reduce socio-economic segregation in schools to the average level of OCED countries, the concentration of poorer students in the same schools has increased 9 percent in Madrid and 4 percent in the Basque country since the last PISA survey by the OCED.

To help remedy the situation, Save the Children has called on the Spanish government to provide guaranteed access to quality education for children aged 0-3 years from under-privileged and migrant family backgrounds, implementation of measures to correct socio-economic school segregation, and guaranteed free curricular materials, school lunches and school transport for children from impoverished families.

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