For Schools in Scotland

What benefits will my school get from taking part?

  • 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 Scotland.
  • The opportunity for pupils to take part in an important global study.
  • The chance for your pupils to practise 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. For example, in order to randomly select the pupils who will take part in your school, we ask your nominated school coordinator to supply or check a list of all the 15-year-old pupils enrolled at your school who fall within a certain birth range. 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 2021. The PISA 2021 field trial will take place in March 2020 and the main study will take place in October and November 2021.

What is involved for our pupils?

Pupils will answer questions assessing maths, reading and science. There will also be additional questions assessing the area of creative thinking. Pupils will answer questions on their background and on their attitudes and experiences in school. 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.

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 Scottish government and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

What have we learned from PISA?

NFER have produced a series of national reports and briefing papers based on the results of international surveys, including PISA.

For more from the PISA 2018 national reports and briefing papers, which were published on 3 December 2019 and present a summary of the key findings from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, please visit our PISA 2018 National Reports page.

For other national reports and briefing papers, including the national reports for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland from all PISA studies, visit our PISA Research page.

Visit our frequently asked questions page for more information on the PISA study.