Repetition rate by grade

Definition

Number of repeaters in a given grade in a given school year, expressed as a percentage of enrolment in that grade the previous school year.

Data source

School register, school survey or census for data on enrolment and repeaters by grade.

Calculation method

Divide the number of repeaters in a given grade in school year t+1 by the number of pupils from the same cohort enrolled in the same grade in the previous school year t.

Data required

Enrolment by grade for school year t and number of repeaters from the same cohort by grade for year t+1.

Interpretation

Repetition rate ideally should approach zero percent. High repetition rate reveals problems in the internal efficiency of the educational system and possibly reflect a poor level of instruction. When compared across grades, the patterns can indicate specific grades for which there is higher repetition, hence requiring more in depth study of causes and possible remedies.

Limitations

In some cases, low repetition rates merely reflect policies or practices of automatic promotion. The level and maximum number of grade repetitions allowed can in some cases be determined by the educational authorities with the aim of coping with limited grade capacity and increasing the internal efficiency and flow of pupils (or students). Care should be taken in interpreting this indicator, especially in comparisons between education systems.

Purpose

To measure the rate at which pupils from a cohort repeat a grade, and its effect on the internal efficiency of educational systems. In addition, it is one of the key indicators for analysing and projecting pupil flows from grade to grade within the educational cycle.

Quality standards

Like other pupil-flow rates (promotion and dropout rates), repetition rate is derived by analysing data on enrolment and repeaters by grade for two consecutive years. One should therefore ensure that such data are consistent in terms of coverage over time and across grades. Special attention should also be paid to minimizing some common errors which may bias these flow rates, such as: Over-reporting enrolment/repeaters (particularly in grade one); incorrect distinction between new entrants and repeaters; transfers of pupils between grades and schools.

Types of disaggregation

By grade and by sex.