(Image credit: Lucélia Ribeiro)

The 11 best school systems in the world

Every year, the World Economic Forum releases its Global Competitiveness Report on the state of the world's economies.

The WEF looks at data on areas as varied as the soundness of banks to the sophistication of businesses in each country. It then uses the data to compile a picture of the economy of almost every country on earth.

Countries were ranked according to the "12 pillars of competitiveness," which includes macro-economic environment, infrastructure, health and primary education, and labour market efficiency.

We have drilled down into the schooling data to look at which countries have the best education systems. Neither the US or the UK make the grade in the top 11 (3 countries are tied for 9th, making 11 the clearest cut off point.)

Here are the ones that did make the grade:

9. Japan: 5.6

=9. Japan: 5.6                                                             Boris Johnson joins a Street Rugby tournament in a Tokyo street with school children and adults from Nihonbashi, Yaesu & Kyobashi Community Associations.Stefan Rousseau PA Archive/PA Images

Japan is one of the top performing countries for literacy, science, and maths in the OECD group. Students go through six years of elementary school, three years of junior high school, and three years of high school before deciding whether they want to go to university. High school is not compulsory but enrolment is close to 98%.

9. Barbados: 5.9


=9. Barbados: 5.9                                                             England's cricket team captain Alistair Cook greets a youth at the Kensington Oval cricket ground in Bridgetown, Barbados, Wednesday, April 29, 2015.AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan

The Barbados government has invested heavily in education, resulting in a literacy rate of 98%, one of the highest in the world. Primary runs from 4 to 11, with secondary 11 to 18. The majority of schools at both levels are state-owned and run.

9. New Zealand: 5.6

=9. New Zealand: 5.6                                                                   A group of school children perform their Haka for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at the Bukekura Park in New Plymouth, New Zealand.John Stillwell PA Archive/PA Images


Primary and secondary education in New Zealand runs from aged 5 to aged 19, with school compulsory between 6 and 16. There are three types of secondary schools in New Zealand: state schools educate approximately 85% of students, state-integrated schools — private schools that have been integrated into the state but keep their special charter — educate 12%, and private schools educate 3%.

8. Estonia: 5.7

8. Estonia: 5.7                                                                  U.S. President Barack Obama, right, greets Estonian school children waving U.S. and Estonian national flags during a welcome ceremony at the Kadriorg Palace in Tallinn, Estonia, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014.AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis

Estonia spends around 4% of its GDP on education, according to 2015 figures. The country's 1992 Education Act says that the goals of education are "to create favourable conditions for the development of personality, family and the Estonian nation; to promote the development of ethnic minorities, economic, political and cultural life in Estonia and the preservation of nature in the global economic and cultural context; to teach the values of citizenship; and to set up the prerequisites for creating...Read more...

Source: uk.businessinsider.com