Publication - FOI/EIR release

Information relating to Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018: FOI release

Published: 16 Mar 2021

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

Published:
16 Mar 2021
Information relating to Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100141438
Date received: 21 Jan 2021
Date responded: 16 Feb 2021
Information requested

I would like to request further information on the following.

1. Has data from the PISA 2018 study for Scotland been linked to administrative records of children, including their National 4 and National 5 examinations.

2. 
Could you please provide me with the National 4 and National 5 grades achieved by the PISA 2018 sample for Scotland in England and Mathematics.

3. For Scotland, could you please provide me with a breakdown of "within-school exclusions" in terms of Functional disability, intellectual disability/behavioural or emotional disorder, limited language proficiency and specific learning disability (as per Table 1.4 of the Irish national PISA report - see https://www.erc.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/B23321-PISA-2018-National-Report-for-Ireland-Full-Report-Web-4.pdf).

4. 
The PISA 2018 report for Scotland states the following:

"In total 4,265 students were drawn in the sample. Schools were able to withdraw a certain number of students where it was deemed that participation would be difficult due to additional support needs or language issues. Similarly students that had left the school in the interim were not considered part of the target sample. In total 3,767 students were deemed eligible participants."

Could you please confirm how many students were not considered part of the target sample because they had left the school between the sampling and the test date?

5. The PISA 2018 report for Scotland goes on to say:

"Of these a total of 2,969 students took part"

Could you provide a breakdown of the numbers who:
A. did not wish to take part (i.e. opt outs)

B. those who were absent on the day of the test

C. 
withdrawn by the school because of their additional support needs

6. Table 11.2 of the PISA 2018 technical report documents how 9% of the originally drawn sample for Scotland was deemed "ineligible" or "withdrawn" (https://www.oecd.org/pisa/data/pisa2018technicalreport/). Could you please provide any further insight into why this figure is so high?

Response

1. Data from the PISA 2018 study for Scotland has not been linked to administrative records of children, including their National 4, National 5 examinations.

2. This information has not been provided because this analysis has not been undertaken and would involve a significant amount of technical work in order to do so. As such, to undertake this analysis would exceed the appropriate cost limit as set up under Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

3. Of the 4,265 students who were originally sampled, 142 students were withdrawn by the school because of their additional support needs. We do not hold information on a breakdown of specific within-school exclusions.

4. We do not hold information on how many of the ineligible students had left school between the sampling and the assessment dates.

5a. We do not hold information on how many students opted out. 122 students were withdrawn from the assessment by their parents.

b. 596 students were recorded as absent on the day of the assessment

c. 142 students were withdrawn by the school because of their additional support needs.

6. Of the 4,265 students who were originally sampled, 356 were deemed to be ineligible and legitimate non participants. A further 142 students were withdrawn by the school because of their additional support needs.

This ineligible figure is likely to reflect the change in the timing of the PISA assessments in Scotland and in the rest of the UK, which were moved from Spring to Autumn in order to move away from the exam period. Due to the requirement to sample students prior to the Autumn assessments, local authorities were asked to provide student rolls over the school summer holidays. This was therefore prior to the school census taking place in September, and may therefore have included students who had moved schools between school years. For PISA 2022, the process has been changed so that student sampling takes place immediately following the school census taking place.

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