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UK kids: Unhappiest in the world, yaddidah

Posted by Richard D North in Interrogating the Media / Money / Rights / Society on 2 September 2009

Why we posted this:The papers have been full of bad news about how the UK’s young stack up against the global competition. Badly, of course. Check out the latest gloomy research, from the OECD, and it’s survivable.

The original story:
“Disadvantaged children failed by British system, warns OECD”
Strapline: Britain’s education and welfare system is failing disadvantaged children despite high levels of public funding, the OECD has warned.
The Daily Telegraph
1 September 2009

Summary of the story:
The papers – including the sensible Telegraph – have got excited by some OECD research (probably not much more than a look through existing data) which purports to show that the UK is failing the younger end of its young, and the poorer end of the younger end.

Here’s the work the papers are referring to:

livingissues comment:
I’ll look at the work in greater detail soon, but even a cursory glance suggests that the UK is an ordinary mid-range big European country in most ways. Our young have a pretty good school experience and are pretty safe. But they are bit hooliganish (they get drunk and have babies a bit more commonly than other rich nation kids). Most other countries seem to fail their young in more ways than we do ours. I think that’s the conclusion one comes to when looking at Table 2.1 (here:

Of course, we don’t do as well by our children as the Scandinavians. But we compare pretty well with the French and Germans. We do better than the Italians and Greeks, who famously love their children.

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