Social factors affect chance of having to repeat a school year

Girls are less likely to have to repeat a year than boys © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

The likelihood of a child needing to resit a school year in Switzerland is higher for boys, children with a migrant background and those living in French-speaking cantons.

This content was published on April 22, 2021 - 11:50

Only 1.3% of students in Switzerland have to repeat a year between the third and eighth grades of primary school, according to the Federal Statistical Office, which on Thursday published the first studyExternal link of the transitions and trajectories of all students aged four to 16 in compulsory schooling since 2012.

Every 75th pupil does not graduate and has to repeat a grade, with boys slightly more likely to have to do so than girls (1.5% versus 1.2%).

Children who immigrated to Switzerland after their sixth birthday have a repetition rate of 2.8%. Only 1.1% of Swiss born in Switzerland have to resit a year.

The prospects are also less good for children of parents who completed only compulsory education. Their risk of having to repeat a year is 2.1%. The figure drops to 0.7% for the children of parents who have at least one university degree.

Southern stars

Major differences also exist between the cantons as well as between the municipalities and schools in each canton, according to the report.

Resits are comparatively rare in the southern part of the country. Only 0.9% of children in Italian-speaking canton Ticino have to repeat a year. In French-speaking Switzerland the figure is 1.8% and in German- and Romansh-speaking parts of the country it is 1.2%.

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