For Schools

Across Scotland, 121 schools and colleges [1] will take part in PISA 2022. The main focus of PISA 2022 is mathematics and the main study will take place in October and November 2022.

What are the benefits of taking part in PISA?

  • It is an opportunity to tell us about your school and to be a part of an important study that informs policy making in Scotland and around the world.
  • PISA 2022 will be particularly important in providing evidence of the impact of Covid-19 on the experiences and outcomes of our 15-year-olds.
  • It is an opportunity for pupils to represent Scotland in a large scale global study and gives pupils assessment experience without the need to prepare in advance.
  • Schools will receive an individualised school feedback report based on pupils’ questionnaire responses. These reports include pupils’ attitudes, experience and confidence in maths, their wellbeing, their experiences of school in general and their experience of remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. These can be compared with patterns in the country as a whole and can help build a profile for your school to use as part of your ongoing school evaluation.
  • The school feedback reports will also highlight key international findings.
  • Schools will also receive a contribution towards staff cover for carrying out preparatory organisational tasks for running the study.
  • Pupils and schools also receive certificates to recognise their participation.

The contributions of pupils and teachers are what make PISA a success, and we, the Scottish Government and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are all very grateful to the pupils and teachers who take part.

What will NFER do to support our school’s participation?

NFER greatly appreciates your contribution to this important study. We understand that this is an unpredictable time and that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to put schools under pressure. We promise to support your school throughout the study and work with you to ensure your particular needs and requirements are met.

Our aim is to ensure that the burden on schools is as low as possible. For instance, we will appoint a trained NFER PISA administrators, with teaching experience, to conduct the assessments in your school. They will liaise with your school coordinator to arrange their visit to your school.  They will bring everything to the school, run the session and return all the materials to NFER. In addition, all marking will be done by NFER.

There will be a dedicated support team available to answer any queries during the administration of PISA in your school. You can contact the team by email at [email protected]

What will our school need to do?

A little preparatory work is needed within school. For example, in order to randomly select the pupils who will take part in your school, we ask your nominated school coordinator to supply a list of all the 15-year-old pupils enrolled at your school who fall within a certain birth range. The school coordinator  will also be responsible for identifying rooms that can be used for the study  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 coordinators in advance to ensure that things run smoothly on the day.

What is involved for our pupils?

Pupils will answer questions assessing maths, reading and science during a two-hour computer-based assessment. Pupils will also answer questions on their background, their attitudes and experiences in school and about their experiences of remote learning during school closures. This questionnaire should take around 30-40 minutes.

For examples of PISA questions, please visit our Sample Questions page.

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.

How NFER will look after the data?

NFER takes data protection very seriously and complies with the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. Any personal information we collect will be held securely. The information NFER collects is used to compare how well pupils around the world learn.

No-one will see pupils’ answers except the researchers involved in the study. No names or anything which can be used to identify an individual or school is shared with the OECD, or included in any reports.

Please view the PISA 2022 privacy notice for further details about the information we will collect and how we will use it.

What has been learned from earlier PISA studies?

A series of thematic reports, national reports and briefing papers based on the results of previous cycles of PISA can be found on our PISA research page.

For more information on the PISA study, visit our frequently asked questions or watch this summary video.

[1] PISA mainly takes place in schools, but a small number of pupils in some FE Colleges may also be invited to take part.