Grade retention in schools in Europe: huge differences between countries

The European Commission today presented a new study which compares how grade retention, making pupils repeat a school year, is applied in schools across Europe.
It shows that practices vary greatly between countries: whether a child has to repeat a year at school depends more on the educational culture concerned and teacher appraisal than on the child’s performance.

The study was produced for the Commission by the ‘Eurydice’ network, which provides information on and analyses of European education systems and policies.
“Grade Retention during Compulsory Education in Europe: Regulations and Statistics” covers 31 countries (all EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey).

One of the main findings of the study is that there is a wide difference in grade retention rates across Europe. It is possible in most countries and basic regulations are often similar.
In many countries, restrictions on retention are imposed by regulation but rates of retention nevertheless vary significantly between countries.
The study also looks at why and where a pupil would repeat a school year and how such decisions are taken in different European countries.

Read more: