Student Achievement in Northern Ireland: Results in Mathematics, Science, and Reading Among 15-Year-Olds From the OECD PISA 2012 Study

Rebecca Wheater, Juliet Sizmur, Bethan Burge, Robert Ager

03 December 2013

The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a survey of mathematics, science and reading skills. Mathematics was the main subject in PISA 2012 and so was assessed in greater depth compared with the other two areas. In addition pupils and schools complete questionnaires to provide information about pupil background and attitudes, and aspects of school management and school climate respectively. Findings from the survey provide Government with detailed comparative evidence on which to base educational policy and provide researchers with a rich data set to explore with secondary analysis.

PISA 2012 involved pupils in 65 countries around the world. Schools in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland are oversampled so that results can be reported for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland and so comparisons can be made within the UK. In Northern Ireland, a total of 89 schools and 2224 pupils took part in PISA 2012 and almost 490 schools took part in the survey across the UK.

NFER is the PISA 2012 national research centre for the whole of the UK and conducted the survey on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE) (England), the Department of Education (DE) (Northern Ireland), the Welsh Government and the Scottish Government.

NFER would like to thank the schools, their teachers and pupils for representing their country and helping to make PISA 2012 a success.

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