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Publication - Research Publication

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015: Highlights from Scotland's results

Published: 6 Dec 2016
Part of:
Education
ISBN:
9781786526465

Report covering Scotland's performance in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, covering maths reading and science.

62 page PDF

1.3MB

62 page PDF

1.3MB

Contents
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015: Highlights from Scotland's results
Main Messages

62 page PDF

1.3MB

Main Messages

Overall performance

  • Scotland's scores in the PISA assessments were similar to the OECD average in science, maths and reading. In the previous survey in 2012, Scotland was above the OECD average in reading and science, and at the average in maths.
  • Scotland's own overall performance compared to 2012 declined in science and reading, but was similar in maths.
  • Scotland's relative performance compared to other countries, including UK administrations, declined when measured by the number of comparator countries that were significantly above and below Scotland, in maths, reading and science.
  • The proportion of pupils performing at highest levels of achievement ("Level 5 and above") and performing at the lowest levels ("below Level 2") were similar in Scotland to the OECD average in science. In both maths and reading, both the proportions of low and high performers were lower than the OECD average.
  • The gradient and strength of relationship between performance and social background was similar to 2012. However, reductions in the gradient between 2009 and 2012 were sustained into 2015. In addition, in reading, the gradient and strength of relationship are now both weaker than across the OECD.

Scotland's performance in science

Chart: Scotland’s performance in science

  • In science, Scotland's performance was similar to the OECD average. Scotland had been above the OECD average in each PISA round from 2006 to 2012. Scores for previous rounds (2000 and 2003) were not comparable.
  • Scotland's performance declined compared to 2012.
  • With respect to Scotland's relative position in 2015 (compared to OECD countries and UK administrations) there were three additional countries outperforming Scotland and seven fewer countries performing below Scotland compared to 2012.
  • The proportion of low performers (below Level 2) increased to 19.5 per cent, and was similar to the OECD average.
  • The strength of relationship between social disadvantage and a pupil's score in Scotland was similar to the OECD average. About 11 per cent of the variation in Scotland could be explained by socio-economic factors. This was similar to 2012, but an improvement compared to the position for science in 2009 (16 per cent).

The extent to which disadvantage was related to performance (or "gradient") in Scotland was also similar to the average across OECD countries and amounts to around 37 points. This is similar to 2012 (36 points) but still represents an improvement on 2009 when the effect of deprivation was larger (47 points).

Scotland's performance in maths

Chart: Scotland’s performance in maths

  • In maths, Scotland's performance was similar to the OECD average. This has been the case in each PISA round since 2006. Scores in 2000 were not comparable.
  • While Scotland's performance was similar to 2012, it has declined compared to 2006 and previous waves.
  • The proportion of low performers in Scotland was similar to 2012, but was less than the OECD average. The proportion of high performers declined compared to 2012, and was smaller than the OECD average.
  • Scotland's relative position compared to OECD countries and UK administrations declined since 2012, with more countries outperforming Scotland and a smaller number performing significantly below Scotland.
  • The strength of relationship between social disadvantage and a pupil's score in Scotland was similar to the OECD average. About 11 per cent of the variation in Scotland could be explained by socio-economic factors. This was also similar to the position for maths in 2012, but represents an improvement on 2009.
  • The extent to which disadvantage was related to performance (or "gradient") in Scotland was also similar to the average across OECD countries and amounted to around 33 points. This is similar to 2012, but still represents an improvement on 2009 when the effect of deprivation was larger (45 points).

Scotland's performance in reading

Chart: Scotland’s performance in reading

  • In reading, Scotland's performance in 2015 was at the OECD average. Scotland's performance was previously above the OECD average in 2009 and 2012.
  • Scotland's own performance declined between 2012 and 2015 and is now level with 2006 and 2009. There was an earlier fall in performance between 2003 and 2006.
  • The proportion of low performers increased compared to 2012, but was lower than the OECD average. The share of high performers was similar to 2012, but less than the OECD average.
  • Scotland's relative position compared to OECD countries and UK administrations declined since 2012, with more countries outperforming Scotland and a smaller number performing significantly below Scotland.
  • The strength of relationship between social disadvantage and a pupil's score was lower in Scotland than the OECD average. About 9 per cent of the variation in Scotland could be explained by socio-economic factors. This was similar to the position for reading in 2012 (11 per cent), but less than 2009 (14 per cent.
  • The extent of the relationship between deprivation and reading performance (or "gradient") in Scotland was lower than the OECD average at around 32 points. This is similar to the 2012 position (35 points) but better than 2009 (44 points).

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