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Wales’ Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams, today welcomed the nation’s significant improvement in PISA.

First published:
3 December 2019
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

  • Wales catches up international average in all subjects for first time
  • Wales scores higher to move up in all three subjects for first time
  • Best ever scores in reading and maths and improvement in science

She said:

For the first time ever, Wales is in the international mainstream, thanks to the efforts of our teachers and students.

“We have caught up, we are continuing to improve in all areas and as a nation we must be determined to keep up this momentum.

“This is positive for teachers, parents and students and the nation as a whole, but not perfect.

“We can go further still.

Wales was among 79 countries to participate in the latest round of PISA, which is run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Following the 2015 results, the Education Minister set a challenge to improve the proportion of top-performing learners.

The number of high performing students in reading rose from 3% in 2015 to 7% in 2018, with a 4% to 7% increase in maths and a 4% to 5% increase in science.

Wales saw an improvement in its ranking compared to other participating nations.

Kirsty Williams added:

Today’s news is positive for our young people and education system. We are continuing to improve in all areas and we’ve got more top performers than ever before.

“Our increase in high-performers is a big step forward. It’s a culture change for Wales. But there’s still more to do, as we’re not quite at the OECD average for this aspect yet.

“Not only have our overall scores gone up, we’ve also reduced the attainment gap. We can be proud that in Wales we truly partner equity with excellence.

“We are heading in the right direction with our reforms. Our National Mission has charted the right course. The OECD are telling us to move forward with confidence.

“That’s why we are delivering the biggest ever investment in our teachers, have developed the biggest ever professional learning programme and are striding ahead with our new curriculum.