Wales will have the courage to deliver its national mission of education reform, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams vowed today as the latest PISA results were published (Tues 6th Dec).
The national report for Wales shows there has been a stabilisation in results. Wales has also had the biggest increase in the UK in its maths score.
Kirsty Williams said:
“We can all agree we are not yet where we want to be. While we have seen a 10 point lift in our maths score, the results for science are disappointing.
“Last month I invited the OECD to look at how we are doing in Wales; their advice to me was unambiguous: Stay the course, be brave, you are doing the right things.
“The hard work is underway. We have plans in place to develop an excellent professional workforce, a new curriculum and we are introducing robust qualifications that will be nationally and internationally respected. But we recognise that there is more to do.
“PISA may divide opinion, but it is the recognised international benchmark for skills. It has never been more important to demonstrate to ourselves, and to the world, that our young people can compete with the best. Old securities are on their way out. Other small, innovative nations have stolen a march on us in their reform journeys. But if Ireland and Estonia can do it, so can we.
“I am confident that our emphasis on leadership, teacher development and excellence and collective responsibility will enable us to reach the highest standards. PISA allows us to judge ourselves against the world – everybody in our system must understand this.
“The easy thing to do would be rip up the plan and start again. But we owe it to our pupils, parents and the profession to do what is right. The OECD has identified Portugal as a country that has much improved. It has taken them 14 years, pursuing reforms that work and holding steady to the course. They took the much needed tough decisions and now they reap the rewards. Wales will have the courage to do likewise to ensure that we deliver our national mission of education reform.”