Too early to draw meaningful conclusions from PISA results

03 December 2013

The 2012 PISA results released today are useful for improving our education system, says the Association of School and College Leaders. However, as the tests were administered in 2012, it is far too early to draw any meaningful conclusions about the impact of current government policies and education performance in England.

Commenting on the results, Malcolm Trobe, ASCL's Deputy General Secretary said:

"The 2012 PISA tests focused on maths. It is essential that current GCSE reforms result in qualifications which focus on building mathematical understanding and that the standards required become very well understood over time among teachers, parents and employers. This is especially important in a context of increasing levels of school autonomy. We also need to encourage more positive attitudes to the learning of mathematics especially among girls - this will result in fairer improvements."

Commenting further, ASCL President Ian Bauckham said:

"When it comes to improving performance in education, this set of PISA results shows how important it is to have an underlying belief that success is possible for all, regardless of disadvantage or background. The most successful countries have zero tolerance of failure, from parents to politicians. The PISA data also show that in the UK low performance is complex: there are still many low performing students in successful and advantaged schools. Closing the performance gap within individual schools clearly needs to remain a top priority."