Key insights from PISA 2018 for the United Kingdom
03 December 2019
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide research project involving schools and students in over 79 countries. It is run by the OECD, takes place every three years, and is designed to examine how 15-year-olds can apply what they have learned in school to real life situations. This briefing provides an introduction to PISA 2018 and its key findings in the United Kingdom.
Each cycle of PISA has a different focus. The main focus in PISA 2018 was reading, but it also included questions on mathematics and science . PISA also gathers extensive background information about pupils’ home and school learning environments and experiences. This information can provide powerful insights into how well education systems are functioning, and how teaching and learning can be improved for all pupils in the UK and around the world.
Pupils in England, Wales and Scotland were less satisfied than the OECD average while pupils in Northern Ireland were similar to the OECD average in their satisfaction with their lives. The results reflect the attitudes of students in the study and warrants further investigation.
 Some pupils in Scotland also answered questions on global competence.