The analysis of Scotland’s data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), published today, has highlighted the value of Scotland's comprehensive education system.
Data from the PISA survey indicates a solid performance overall, with improvement in reading and with results in maths and science holding relatively steady.
The survey also indicates that the gap in performance between the most and least disadvantaged pupils was smaller in Scotland than across the average of other OECD countries – indicating the Scotland’s comprehensive system offers greater equality of opportunity to pupils from all backgrounds.
Commenting on the results of the PISA survey, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "There is a lot of rich data in PISA 2018 which will require time for proper analysis."
"It is clear, however, that Scottish Education is actively working on the key elements identified by the OECD as necessary for continued improvement – tackling the impact of deprivation on educational attainment, ensuring high standards of teaching, and being concerned about pupil well-being."
Highlighting the positive views of pupils identified in the survey, Mr Flanagan said "It is worth noting that in the survey of pupil attitudes, Scottish pupils report significantly more positive attitudes to their teachers than the OECD average – including highly positive views on the enthusiasm of teachers, relations between teachers and pupils, and levels of support offered to pupils by Scotland’s teachers."
In conclusion, Mr Flanagan added, "PISA tests assess problem solving skills rather than simply knowledge retention. This requires a focus in schools on cultivating deeper learning."
"Scottish education, however, in its senior phase, remains overly focused on sequential qualification accumulation which creates significant pressures on teaching time, leading to shallower learning than desired. The forthcoming review of the senior phase should look at this aspect closely and apply lessons learned from the PISA analysis."
OECD PISA Stats