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An Unfair Start

Inequality in Children’s Education in Rich Countries

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This report focuses on educational inequalities in 41 of the world’s richest countries, all of which are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and/or the European Union (EU). Using the most recent data available, it examines inequalities across childhood -- from access to preschool to expectations of post-secondary education - and explores in depth the relationships between educational inequality and factors such as parents’ occupations, migration background, the child’s gender and school characteristics. The key feature of the report is the league table, which summarizes the extent of educational inequalities at preschool, primary school and secondary school levels.

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Education systems and policies

Education policies and practices can reduce or reinforce educational inequalities stemming from children’s starting points and ongoing family circumstances. There is no one-size-fits-all policy guaranteed to produce the best results. Countries and regions differ in their social, cultural, economic and political make-up. What works for those at the top of our league table will not necessarily help those at the bottom to reduce educational inequalities.

English Spanish, Italian, French

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