NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED523059
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
When Students Repeat Grades or Are Transferred out of School: What Does It Mean for Education Systems? PISA in Focus. No. 6
OECD Publishing (NJ1)
School systems handle the challenges of diverse student populations in different ways. Some countries have non-selective and comprehensive school systems that seek to provide all students with similar opportunities, leaving it to individual schools and teachers to meet the particular needs of every student. Other countries group students, whether in different schools or in different classes within schools, with the aim of serving students according to their particular academic potential, interests and/or behaviour. Having underperforming students repeat grades or transferring struggling or disruptive students to other schools are two common policies used to group students for this reason. According to Programme for International Student Assessment 2009 (PISA 2009), an average of 13% of 15-year-old students across OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries reported that they had repeated a grade at least once: 7% of students had repeated a grade in primary school, 6% had repeated a grade in lower secondary school, and 2% had repeated a grade in upper secondary school. Over 97% of students in Finland, Iceland, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, the partner countries Azerbaijan, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Serbia, and the partner economy Chinese Taipei reported they had never repeated a grade; and grade repetition is non-existent in Japan, Korea and Norway. In contrast, over 25% of students in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the partner countries Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uruguay, and the partner economy Macao-China reported that they had repeated a grade. This issue of "PISA in Focus" suggests that in general, school systems that seek to cater to different students' needs by having struggling students repeat grades or by transferring them to other schools do not succeed in producing superior overall results and, in some cases, reinforce socio-economic inequities. Teachers in these systems may have fewer incentives to work with struggling students if they know there is an option of transferring those students to other schools. These school systems need to consider how to create appropriate incentives to ensure that some students are not "discarded" by the system.
OECD Publishing. 2, rue Andre Pascal, F-75775 Paris Cedex 16, France. Tel: +33-145-24-8200; Fax: +33-145-24-8500; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment