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UK public spending on early years among lowest in OECD, report reveals

By Shannon Hawthorne
 
Early years education in the year relies more heavily on private spending than in the most other countries, a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has found.
 
According to Education at a Glance 2017, which monitors education spending in 35 countries, just 47% of early years spending in the UK came from public sources in 2015, the second lowest of all OECD countries and significantly less than the OECD average of 82%.
 
The report also points out that early years spending as a percentage of GDP in the UK is lower at 0.5% than the OECD average of 0.8%, though it notes that “this partly reflects the shorter time spent by children at this level of education in the United Kingdom”.
 
In contrast, the UK is at the top of the OECD league table when it comes to expenditure on primary to tertiary educational institutions, spending 6.6% of GDP compared to the OECD average of 5.2%.
 
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