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Magic policy + education system ≠ top Pisa results

Our British bulldog may be falling behind in the international race, but we won’t catch up by trying to emulate isolated features of our more successful opponents

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It’s a beautiful day at the animal Olympics. The national animals are lining up at the starting line, ready to take part in the famous Pisa event. The British bulldog arrives and sits back on its haunches, looking nonchalant. The Singaporean lion is anxiously raring to go. The starting shot is fired, and the animals run, hop, jump and fly along the track, navigating the obstacles to make their way towards the finish line.

For most of the race, Singapore’s lion is in the lead, but as it charges towards the end of the track it is overtaken by Shanghai’s dragon, swooping down from overhead to ...

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