Publication - Statistics

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018: highlights from Scotland's results

Published: 3 Dec 2019
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Economy, Education
ISBN:
9781839603730

Report covering Scotland's performance in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018, covering reading, maths and science.

66 page PDF

969.3 kB

66 page PDF

969.3 kB

Contents
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018: highlights from Scotland's results
7. School, Student and Teacher Questionnaire Responses

66 page PDF

969.3 kB

7. School, Student and Teacher Questionnaire Responses

The PISA assessments are supplemented by background questionnaires. Pupils are asked about their motivations for study, attitudes to school, beliefs about reading, studying and their socio-economic background. Headteachers are asked about the challenges facing their schools, organisation and factors that they believe affect their students' performance.

Student experience and views

Attitudes to learning

1. Pupils in Scotland had a positive view about improving intelligence through learning (a 'growth mindset'). Pupils were less likely than the OECD average to agree that 'your intelligence is something about you that you can't change very much'– 71.4 per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement compared to an OECD average of 62.6 per cent.

2. When asked about views on sef-efficacy, pupils in Scotland agreed with the statements, 'I usually manage one way or another' (90.9 per cent), 'I feel proud that I have accomplished things' (87.4 per cent), 'I feel that I can handle many things at one time' (68.0 per cent), 'My belief in myself gets me through hard times' (60.8 per cent), and 'When I'm in a tricky situation, I can usually find my way out of it' (82.4 per cent).

3. Pupils were more likely than the OECD average to state that a fear of failure has a negative impact on them. 65.2 per cent of pupils agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, 'when I am failing, I worry about what others think of me' (compared to the OECD average of 56.4 per cent). 73.2 per cent of girls in Scotland agreed with this statement, compared to 56.8 per cent of boys.

4. When answering the question, 'when I am failing, this makes me doubt my plans for the future', 72.0 per cent of pupils in Scotland agreed (higher than the OECD average of 53.8 per cent, but similar to the UK figure of 70.5 per cent). 83.6 per cent of girls in Scotland agreed with this statement, compared to 59.7 per cent of boys.

Feelings about school

5. Almost two-thirds of pupils (64.7 per cent) in Scotland agreed with the statement, 'I feel like I belong at school', lower than the OECD average of 70.7 per cent. In the UK, the figure was 62.2 per cent.

6. Three quarters of pupils (75.1 per cent) agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, 'I make friends at school easily'. This is similar to the OECD average (75.2 per cent) and the figure for the UK (73.1 per cent).

Bullying

7. 11.4 per cent of students in Scotland reported being frequently bullied, which was higher than the OECD average (7.8 per cent), but similar to the UK figure. This is lower than the figure for Scotland in 2015 (13.4 per cent).

Attendance

8. 77.9 per cent of Scottish students said that they never skipped some classes when referring to the two weeks prior to the PISA test, which was higher than the OECD average (72.7 per cent), but lower than the UK figure (84.3 per cent).

9. 54.6 per cent of students in Scotland stated that they never arrived late for school when referring to the two weeks prior to the PISA test, which was similar to the OECD average (52.4 per cent), and lower than the UK figure (60.6 per cent).

Expectations for the future

10. 76.9 per cent of pupils stated that they aspired to a high skilled job, ranging from 68.2 per cent in the lowest ESCS quarter to 84.9 per cent in the highest quarter. Pupils deemed to be disadvantaged by ESCS were more likely to aspire to a highly skilled job without completing a tertiary degree (43.6 per cent compared to 9.5 per cent for those not deemed disadvantaged). 60.4 per cent of all students expected to complete tertiary education (lower than the UK as a whole and the OECD average).

11. Pupils were asked about whether they were expecting to enter certain professions[3] in the future. 10.7 per cent (similar to the OECD, lower than the UK as a whole) of pupils indicated that they expected to work in the science and engineering profession (14.4 per cent of boys and 7.2 per cent of girls); 13.1 per cent (lower than the OECD and the UK as a whole) indicated the health profession (6.4 per cent of boys and 19.1 per cent of girls); and 3.9 per cent indicated the ICT profession (7.3 per cent of boys and 0.8 per cent of girls). For top performers in maths and science in PISA, 18.9 per cent expected to work in the science and engineering profession.

Confidence in reading ability

12. Almost four fifths of pupils in Scotland agree or strongly agree with the statement, 'I am a good reader'. However, this represented a lower proportion compared to the UK as a whole. 78.0 per cent of girls in Scotland agreed or strongly agreed with 'I am a good reader', compared to 83.3 per cent in the UK as a whole. 69.0 per cent of girls agreed or strongly agree with 'I am able to understand difficult texts' compared with 73.0 per cent in the UK as a whole, and 73.7 per cent of girls agreed or strongly agreed with 'I read fluently' compared to 78.0 per cent in the UK as a whole.

13. Boys confidence in reading was more in line with the rest of the UK, although there was still a lower proportion of boys in Scotland agreeing or strongly agreeing with 'I am a good reader' than in the UK as a whole (77.3 per cent vs 80.9 per cent). Compared to the OECD, boys in Scotland were much more likely to agree with 'I am a good reader' (77.3 per cent vs 65.7 per cent) and 'I am able to understand difficult texts' (79.0 per cent vs 68.0 per cent).

14. Girls in Scotland were much more likely than girls in the OECD to agree or strongly agree with 'I find it difficult to answer questions about a text' (38.4 per cent vs 25.6 per cent). They were also more likely to say this than girls in the UK as a whole (28.8 per cent). The same was also true for boys in Scotland, though the difference was not as marked (33.8 per cent vs 27.4 per cent (OECD) and 30.9 per cent (UK)).

Students' views on reading enjoyment

15. Girls in Scotland were more likely than the OECD to "agree or strongly agree" to the following statements:

  • "I read only if I have to" (50.9 per cent vs 39.6 per cent)
  • "I read only to get the information I need" (49.4 per cent vs 38.9 per cent)
  • "For me, reading is a waste of time" (26.0 per cent vs 20.1 per cent)

They were less likely than the OECD to "agree or strongly agree" to:

  • "Reading is one of my favourite hobbies" (31.1 per cent vs 43.4 per cent)
  • "I like talking about books with other people" (35.5 per cent vs 46.5 per cent)

16. Compared to the UK as a whole, girls in Scotland were more likely to agree or strongly agree to "I read only if I have to" (50.9 per cent vs 46.8 per cent) and less likely to agree or strongly agree to "Reading is one of my favourite hobbies" (31.3 per cent vs 35.7 per cent) and "I like talking about books with other people" (35.5 per cent vs 39.1 per cent).

17. Boys in Scotland were more likely than the OECD to "agree or strongly agree" to the following statements:

  • "I read only if I have to" (64.3 per cent vs 58.6 per cent)
  • "I read only to get the information I need" (64.9 per cent vs 60.5 per cent)

They were less likely than the OECD to "agree or strongly agree" to:

  • "Reading is one of my favourite hobbies" (15.6 per cent vs 24.0 per cent)
  • "I like talking about books with other people" (22.7 per cent vs 26.7 per cent)

18. These findings were similar to the UK as a whole, with the exception of "Reading is one of my favourite hobbies", where boys in Scotland were less likely than boys in the UK as a whole to agree or strongly agree (15.6 per cent vs 18.5 per cent)

Time spent reading for enjoyment

19. 71.6 per cent of girls and 81.1 per cent of boys in Scotland said "I don't read or I read less than 30 minutes a day". This was higher than the OECD average (57.2 per cent of girls and 75.5 per cent of boys). The figure of 71.6 per cent for girls in Scotland was higher than the UK as a whole (68.7 per cent), but the figure for boys was similar (81.1 per cent vs 81.3 per cent).

ICT use outside of school hours for leisure

20. Both boys and girls in Scotland and the UK as a whole were more likely than the OECD average to use digital devices every day or almost every day for the following activities: Chatting online, participating in social networks, browsing the internet for fun and downloading music, films, games or software from the internet.

21. Boys in Scotland (51.8 per cent) were more likely than boys in the OECD (43 per cent) and in the UK as a whole (47.4 per cent) to use digital devices every day or almost every day to play one player games and collaborative online games. By contrast, girls in Scotland (7.3 per cent) were less likely to play collaborative online games than the OECD average (9.8 per cent), although this was similar to the UK as a whole (7.8 per cent).

22. Boys in Scotland were more likely than boys in the UK as a whole to read the news online several times a day (26.2 per cent vs 22.3 per cent), though they were less likely to read the news online several times a day than the OECD average (29.3 per cent). Girls in Scotland were also less likely than the OECD average to read the news several times a day (18.9 per cent vs 25.5 per cent). This was similar to the UK as a whole (17.8 per cent).

Student views on teachers

Teacher enthusiasm

23. Scottish students had positive views on the enthusiasm of their teachers. 59.9 per cent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, 'the enthusiasm of the teacher inspired me', higher than the OECD average of 55.0 per cent.

24. 79.2 per cent of Scottish students agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that 'the teacher showed enjoyment in teaching, which was higher than the OECD average of 74.1 per cent.

25. 77.4 per cent of Scottish students agreed or strongly agreed that, 'It was clear to me that the teacher liked teaching us', which was higher than the OECD average of 73.2 per cent.

Relations with teachers

26. 77.4 per cent of Scottish students agreed or strongly agreed that, 'It was clear to me that the teacher liked teaching us', which was higher than the OECD average of 73.2 per cent.

27. Scottish students were more likely to report high levels of support from their teachers, than across the OECD. The teacher was more likely to be reported as "shows an interest in every student's learning" in "every lesson" (43.5 per cent vs. 38.2 per cent).

28. A similar pattern was seen for "The teacher gives extra help when we need it". This was reported as true in "every lesson" by 51.5 per cent of students (vs. 43.9 per cent for the OECD).

29. Teachers were more likely to be reported to be persistent than across the OECD. Scottish students said "the teacher continues teaching until the students understand" in "Every lesson" (43.9 per cent vs. 39.4 per cent).

Teacher feedback

30. Scottish students were more likely to report that teachers would give them feedback than students across the OECD. They were more likely to say that "the teacher gives me feedback on my strengths in this subject" with Scottish students more likely to say this happened in every lesson or many lessons (48.8 per cent compared to 33.7 per cent).

31. There was a similar pattern for students reporting 'the teacher tells me in which areas I can still improve', with 9.3% of students reporting than this 'never or almost never' happens compared with 19.8% across the OECD.

32. 53.7 per cent of students in Scotland reported that 'the teacher tells me how I can improve my performance' in every lesson or many lessons, which is higher than the OECD average of 44.5 per cent.

Headteachers' views

Although the estimates of headteachers' responses have more uncertainty because of the smaller sample, we are still able to report statistically significant differences against the OECD. Estimates are shown as the proportion of pupils in a school where headteachers' respond in a particular way.

Teachers

33. Headteachers were asked whether a range of teacher behaviours hindered learning in their schools. 28.3 per cent of headteachers said that 'teachers not meeting individual students' needs was a factor 'to some extent' (similar to the OECD and UK averages), with the others saying 'very little' or 'not at all'.

34. Headteachers were less likely than the OECD average to state that 'teachers not being well prepared for classes' was a factor in their school, with 96.7 per cent of headteachers saying 'not at all' or 'very little', compared to an OECD average of 87.3 per cent.

School capacity

35. 19.4 per cent of students in Scotland were in a school which the headteacher said was affected by a lack of educational material and 21.1 per cent were in a school affected by a lack of physical infrastructure. This was similar to the OECD average.

36. Students in Scotland were more likely than the OECD average to be in a school where a lack of teaching staff (46.3 per cent compared to 32.6 per cent) affected the school to some extent. However, they were less likely than the OECD average to be in a school affected by poorly trained teaching staff (8.4 per cent compared to 15.1 per cent).

37. A higher proportion of students than the OECD average were in schools where teacher absenteeism was said to be a factor (30.5 per cent compared to 17.9 per cent), but a lower proportion were affected by teachers not being well prepared (3.3 per cent compared to 12.7 per cent).

Parental involvement

38. Headteachers were asked about the proportion of parents that took part in various school activities. When asked for the proportion of parents that discussed their child's progress with a teacher on their own initiative, the average proportion from headteacher responses was 45.4 per cent of parents, which was similar to the OECD average. The figure for discussing progress on the initiative of a teacher was 56.6 per cent, which was also similar to the OECD average.

Headteachers estimated an average of 7.4 per cent of parents volunteering in physical or extracurricular acvities, which was lower than the OECD average, but similar to the UK as a whole.


Contact

Email: keith.dryburgh@gov.scot