ASCL comment on PISA results

03/12/2019
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the UK results in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
 
Commenting on the UK results in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

We are delighted that the UK’s performance in maths has improved by nine points since 2015, and that the scores in reading, maths and science are all above the OECD averages

Congratulations to the students involved and to their teachers. 

As these results come during a General Election campaign, there will be a greater temptation than normal among politicians and commentators to attempt to use them to score points. 

However, we would caution people against over-claiming or over-blaming any one factor on the difference in results between countries and over time

There are many educational and non-educational factors which affect performance and it is not easy to unpick how these have impacted on young people’s attainment in a set of tests.

What is worrying, however, is that this analysis shows that fewer students in the UK are satisfied with their lives than the OECD average. 

It is clear that many young people feel under great pressure in a society in which the stakes often seem very high to them in terms of achieving their goals.

We must do more to understand the complex factors which affect wellbeing and ensure schools and colleges are sufficiently funded to be able to provide appropriate pastoral support.”