Andy Green Addresses EU Presidency Conference in Tallinn, Estonia, on ‘Which education systems support a more equal and effective acquisition of skills at a later age?’

Research tells us much about the effects of primary and lower secondary schooling on skills inequality, but we know less about the impact of the next stage of education. This presentation uses a difference-in-difference analysis of data on literacy and numeracy skills in PISA 2000 and SAS 2011/12 to assess the contribution of upper secondary education and training systems to inequalities in skills opportunities and outcomes. It finds that greater parity of esteem between academic and vocational tracks, as found in German-speaking and Scandinavian countries, has some positive effects in mitigating skills inequality. However, the most important factors seem to be high completion rates from long cycle upper secondary education and training and mandatory provision of Maths and the national language in the curriculum.