For Schools


What benefits will my school get from taking part?

  • A summary report about your school using your pupils' answers to some of the attitudinal questions in PISA, including comparative national information. In previous cycles of PISA, schools have told us they find these reports useful for self-evaluation.
  • Certificates for each pupil and school to celebrate your valued contribution.
  • The opportunity to tell us about your school and to be a part of a study that directly influences policy making in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • The opportunity for pupils to take part in an important global study.
  • The chance for your pupils to practice assessment skills in a study for which no preparation is required.
  • The opportunity to deliver an electronic assessment, supported by NFER.

NFER greatly appreciates your contribution to this important study. We will support schools throughout their participation and our aim is to ensure that the burden on schools is as low as possible. For instance, we will send trained NFER PISA administrators, with teaching experience, to conduct the assessments in your school. They will bring everything to the school and run the session and all marking will be done by NFER.

A little preparatory work is needed within school and for this we can provide one day of supply cover. For example, in order to randomly select up to 40 pupils to take part, we ask, your nominated school coordinator to supply or check a list of all the 15-year-old pupils enrolled at your school. They will also be responsible for arranging rooms and ensuring the pupils know where to go on the day. Your nominated IT coordinator will be asked to run a short test on your school’s computers to ensure the study software will be able to run successfully. We will liaise with the co-ordinators in advance to ensure that things run smoothly on the day.

Over 500 schools across the UK will take part in PISA 2018. The PISA 2018 field trial took place in March 2017 and the main study will take place in October and November 2018.

What is involved for our pupils?

Pupils will answer questions assessing reading, maths and science. Pupils will answer questions on their background and on their attitudes and experiences in school. Examples of PISA questions can be found here.

The study will take place at school, during normal school hours. There is no need for any special preparation or studying. All pupils will receive a certificate to thank them for taking part.

The contributions of pupils and teachers are what make PISA a success, and we are very grateful to all the pupils and teachers who take part – thank you! Pupil and teacher contributions are highly valued and of great importance to the UK governments and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The teaching unions in Northern Ireland recognise the importance of PISA and are in full support of the study. Click here for more information.

What have we learned from PISA?

The results from PISA 2015 were released on 6 December 2016. The main focus was on science. The national reports for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can be found here.

NFER has produced a series of briefing papers based on the results of international surveys, including PISA which can be found here.

Visit our FAQs for more information on the PISA study.