Number of pupils and schools taking part in PISA 2018: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

You asked for information on:

  • how many pupils in Scotland took part in Pisa 2018?
  • how many schools did those pupils come from?
  • how many of those schools were (i) independent schools (ii) state schools
  • could you please provide a list of the names of all the schools that took part in Pisa 2018
  • could you please provide the same information for Scotland for Pisa 2015 and Pisa 2012


The answer to your question on independent schools and publicly funded schools in PISA is that 108 publicly funded schools and 7 independent schools were included in the main sample of schools that were sampled to take part in Scotland in 2018.

The figures for publicly funded schools and independent schools in the main sample in PISA 2012 and PISA 2015 are outlined in the table below. Please note that not all sampled schools opt to take part in PISA, so the number of schools in the initial sample is slightly higher than the final total.

  PISA 2012 PISA 2015 PISA 2018
Publicly funded schools 105 111 108
Independent schools 8 7 7

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption(s) under section s.38(1)(b) (personal data of a third party) of FOISA applies to the names of the schools taking part in PISA assessments.

Schools are recruited to take part in PISA under the condition of confidentiality. The Privacy Notice for PISA states that:

The responses to the study from pupils, parents and schools are treated in confidence and no school or individual will be identified in any of the PISA reports.

Due to data confidentiality, the list of schools that take part in PISA cannot therefore be published. This is the case for schools taking part across the UK.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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