07/11/2013 - Individual secondary schools in England will from next year be able to take a version of the OECD’s PISA test in order to benchmark themselves against the world’s best education systems.
The OECD PISA-Based Test for Schools aims to help teachers and school leaders see how their 15-year old students can apply their knowledge of reading, maths and science to meet real-life challenges.
To get a more complete picture of the quality of education in the school, they will also get confidential feedback from students on questions such as how much they enjoy school and the classroom environment. Together with information from the school leaders about the educational practices in the schools, this will allow them to see how well they are doing compared with other similar schools.
Andreas Schleicher, Advisor to the Secretary-General of the OECD on Education Policy and Deputy Director for Education and Skills, said: “This new OECD Test will enable individual schools in England for the first time to see where they stand internationally. This will help teachers and school leaders understand where to focus their efforts to raise standards and learn from successful school systems in other countries.”
More than 100 schools in 22 states in the United States took part in a pilot project in 2012, as well as schools in Canada and the UK. Feedback from school leaders and teachers in the US was very positive, especially on how the test gave them a more rounded picture of the school and students than standard academic tests.
Based on a version of the OECD’s global education assessment programme, PISA, the test will be administered and marked externally. Students have about two and a half hours to complete the test and the questionnaire, with a minimum of 75 pupils tested at each school, though this could vary.
Schools will be given test scores for the school as a whole, not the results of individual student performances. The results will also not be published so that schools can see how well they do without being ranked against others.
The Spanish government has also started implementing plans for the field trial of the assessment in four national languages, including Spanish.
The OECD’s main PISA test is conducted every three years, with around 65 countries or economies taking part, including the UK.
More information is available at http://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisa-basedtestforschools/
A sample report from the European School in Culham, Oxfordshire, which took part in the pilot project in 2012, is available here.
For further information or comment, journalists should contact Andreas Schleicher or Alejandro Gomez Palma of the OECD’s Education and Skills directorate or Spencer Wilson of the OECD’s Media division (+ 33 1 45 24 97 00).