Programme for International Student Assessment
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a collective study among the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It aims to measure how well young people at age 15 or recently turned 16 and near to end of compulsory school, can use their knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges. It also provides a comparison of the standards being achieved by students in various countries and thus identifying those countries from whose approach we have the most to learn. The survey also allows us to examine the effects of the differences in management, resourcing and teaching practices between UK schools.
In the UK, PISA is carried out in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Central Survey Unit (CSU) conducts the survey in Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department of Education and in collaboration with the Social Survey Division of the Office for National Statistics.
It is a three-yearly survey that assesses three broad areas of literacy: reading, mathematics and science.
The second cycle took place in March 2003 and the focus was on mathematics. In 2000 the emphasis was on reading literacy and in 2006 it will be on science.