Commenting on the publication of the OECD’s 2018 PISA study, Chris Keates, Acting General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union said:
"Securing high standards of teaching and learning depends on having highly-motivated and committed teachers who have working conditions that enable them to focus on teaching in the classroom.
“This year's PISA results show teachers are doing a great job, but often under challenging circumstances.
“While evidence from international assessments such as PISA is useful as a tool for examining education policy and practice, this is very different from using the evidence to say that an education system is better or worse than other systems.
“It is not appropriate to use international evidence to use the PISA results to rank countries or jurisdictions.
“One striking finding from this year’s study is in life satisfaction, with teenagers much less likely to say they are satisfied in life than almost every other country and has fallen faster than in any other country over the last three years.
“Fear of failure and the enormous pressure put on children and young people from the high-stakes accountability nature of testing in schools in the UK may be an important factor in this finding.”
Neil Butler, NASUWT National Official Wales, said:
“It is concerning that the Education Minister Kirsty Williams has fallen into the trap of seeing PISA as a league table. It also detracts from the serious issues facing the Welsh education service.
“Underfunding has led to increased workload in our schools and a disturbing decline in teacher numbers. This, combined with rushing into major curriculum reform, is leading to a perfect storm in education in Wales.”