EIS commentProgramme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report
The EIS welcomes today’s publication of the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report. The report shows that, relative to OECD countries overall, Scotland’s 15 year olds are maintaining their level of performance in Reading, which is the major focus of the 2009 report. In Science, students have retained their well above average performance but have dipped slightly closer to the average in Mathematics. This gives the lie to those who persist in talking down Scottish education and the achievements of her teachers and students.
Overall, this shows a steady, solid performance by Scottish students. It is clear, however, that much needs to be done if Scotland is to maintain its international standing as other countries are prioritising and strengthening their education systems year on year.
The Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), if properly resourced and supported, should enhance the performance of the Scottish education system – for example, through the priority it gives to literacy and numeracy.
But it will also be important at a time of severe cuts in public spending to continue to invest in teachers. Today’s PISA report clearly acknowledges the link between high pupil performance and properly paid teachers. If Scotland is to progress, it is essential for the Scottish Government and local authorities to ensure that their teachers are paid appropriately for the job they do, especially at a time of major curricular change.