Tuesday, 13 December 2016

PISA 2015 country note for the United Kingdom

from the OECD

In the United Kingdom education policy is devolved across four jurisdictions: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Key findings

• By age 15, students in the United Kingdom perform above the OECD average in science (509 score points) and reading (498 points) and around the OECD average in mathematics (492 points). As is the case across OECD countries, the average science, mathematics and reading performance of 15-year-olds in the United Kingdom has remained stable since 2006.

• A greater proportion of students in the United Kingdom achieved the highest levels in the PISA science assessment – the major domain in 2015 – compared to the average across OECD countries (Table I.2.2a). In 2015, 29% of students in the United Kingdom expect to work in a science-related occupation by age 30, and the country saw the second largest increase on this measure since 2006 across all countries (Figure 1.3.4).

• As in many other countries, socio-economically disadvantaged students in the United Kingdom are less likely to succeed at school than their more advantaged peers. However, equity in education outcomes in the United Kingdom is better than the OECD average, as 11% of the variation in student performance in science is attributed to differences in students’ socio-economic status (the OECD average is 13%) (Table I.6.3a).

• Students with an immigrant background (first or second generation) in the United Kingdom, as in many other OECD countries, do not perform as well in science as students without an immigrant background. However, once socio-economic status is accounted for, there is no difference in science performance between non-immigrant and immigrant students in the United Kingdom (Table I.7.4a).

• In the United Kingdom, boys and girls are equally likely to score at Level 5 or 6, the highest levels of proficiency, in science (12% of boys and 10% of girls) (Table I.2.6a), and they are equally likely to expect to work in a science-related occupation at age 30 (29% of boys and 30% of girls hold such expectations) (Table I.3.10b).

Continue reading the note

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