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Created: 06 December 2016 | Last Updated: 06 December 2016 | Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version | Make Text Smaller Make Text Larger |

PISA Results Make Clear that Investment in Education is Vital

06 December 2016

The EIS has urged commentators to exercise caution in their analysis of today’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results.

Past experience has shown that the results of this major international programme have often been misrepresented by those seeking to make political capital out of talking down education.

The EIS has also said that the PISA results gave a clear indication of the need for increased investment in education, to ensure that all young people – no matter what their personal circumstances – have a fair chance to make the most of their education.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The key issue with PISA is the need to analyse the full range of data it makes available, rather than focusing only on snapshot headlines.

"It is significant, for example, that in the student surveys Scottish pupils report positive attitudes to learning and their relationship with the teacher.”

He continued, "Politicians and the media should take care to avoid making snap judgements on these results.

"These particular tests, for example, were taken by 15 year olds, mainly S4 pupils, almost 18 months ago. This was at a time, in 2015, when the upper secondary sector was undergoing major upheaval with significant curricular reform, particularly in the Science curriculum, and the introduction of a new qualifications system.

"S3 to S4 is precisely the area which the EIS has previously highlighted as the least well implemented area of CfE and one where considerable development work is already underway.”

Mr Flanagan added, "The need for continuing investment in Education is made clear, however, by this global report, analysis of which shows that targeted resources do make a difference in addressing the impact of deprivation.

"The Scottish Government must ensure that schools are properly resourced and supported if we are to achieve the goals of tackling the poverty-related attainment gap and providing all young people with the chance to reach their potential."