Following media reports last week, regarding the OECD finding that the UK is the third highest spender on education including tertiary and private education for every country, Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills at the OECD has said:
UK total expenditure (including, from public, private and international sources) as a share of GDP is above the OECD average at primary, secondary, and tertiary level of education. Of the 36 countries in the OECD, the UK is the third top spender when comparing total expenditure on primary to tertiary educational institutions as a share of GDP.
When looking at public expenditure on schools (primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary) as a share of GDP (after transfers from the public to private sector), the UK ranks 7th among OECD countries.
This quote can be evidenced in the OECD’s latest Education at a Glance report:
- Among G7 countries, the UK government spent the highest percentage of GDP on institutions delivering primary and secondary education in 2015 (3.8%), and above the OECD and EU22 averages (3.2% and 3.0% respectively). [table C2.2]
- The UK is above all G7 countries bar the US, and above the OECD and EU22 averages, on total government expenditure on primary and secondary educational institutions per student. It spent 9,565 USD on average per full time equivalent student, compared to 11,338 in the US, 8,805 in the OECD, and 8,749 in EU22 in 2015 [table C1.5].
- And the UK’s government expenditure on institutions delivering primary and secondary education as a percentage of total government expenditure was also the highest in the G7, at 9.3%, and above the OECD and EU22 averages of 8.1% and 7.0% respectively [table C4.1].