Pisa results negative for Scottish schools

Date: 13th December 2016

Scottish schools have recorded their worst ever performance in an international study of pupil performance. Singapore came top of the survey, outperforming the rest of the world.

Published on Tuesday 6 December, the latest set of Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) figures records a decline in Scotland's scores across maths, reading and science.
The figures reflect an overall decline in results since the survey began in 2000.

In the previous survey, published in 2012, Scottish pupil performance was recorded as "average" in both maths and reading, and "above average" in science.

In 2000, performance in reading, science and maths was all "above average". This year, all three subject areas were classed as "average".

The results will affect Nicola Sturgeon who, ahead of the 2016 election, urged voters to judge her government on their education record, even going so far as to stake her personal reputation on closing the attainment gap.

Education Secretary John Swinney said the results made uncomfortable reading. Mr Swinney, who made a ministerial statement at Holyrood following the results, pledged an "unwavering focus on improvement".

The Pisa testing system was set up in 2000 among countries from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Half a million 15-year-olds took part in the latest round of tests, which cover literacy, numeracy and science, in March 2015.