Welsh education ranked bottom among home nations
The education system in Wales is lagging behind the rest of the home nations, according to an EU study.
The findings are based on the number of people who finish secondary education, pursue further education, or leave school early.
Wales is in the bottom five percent of EU regions for the number of 12 to 18-year olds in post-secondary education.
A Welsh Government spokesman said: "We have a range of reforms and policies in place to continue to raise standards."
"This year's summer GCSE results showed the gap between England and Wales has closed."
"We will build on this progress, learning from the best practice from around the world to continue to raise standards in our schools."
The study scored EU regions from 0-100 for various aspects of social progress including health, safety, access to education and personal rights.
Wales scored 59.91 for access to basic knowledge, compared to 67.51 for Scotland, 67.33 for Northern Ireland, and 63.44 for England.
'Wales no exception'
The study was compiled as part of the EU Regional Social Progress Index, a new EU project led by the European Commission and the Social Progress Imperative, a Brussels-based think tank.
Michael Green, the think tank's executive director, said: "Compared to other EU regions as a whole, the UK is showing poor results on basic education."
"Simply put, too many kids are dropping out of school without completing their education."
"Wales is no exception to that pattern, sadly."
The study, which analysed data from 37 regions on the UK, also ranked Wales bottom for quality of life among the home nations.
Scotland came top of the UK index - scoring 74 out of a possible 100. Wales came bottom with 72 points.