NI Young People 'Performing Well' In World Wide Education Study

Young people in Northern Ireland continue to perform highly compared to young people in other education systems across the world.

The major international survey of educational achievement of 15-year-olds – the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022, which is co-ordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – reveals that pupils from Northern Ireland significantly outperformed 48 education systems in mathematics, 57 in reading and 49 in science.

Welcoming the findings of the survey, Department of Education Permanent Secretary Dr Mark Browne said: "I welcome the latest PISA results for Northern Ireland. It is encouraging that in 2022 Northern Ireland continued to outperform the majority of education systems in each subject, as our pupils did in 2018.

"The findings from international assessments such as PISA provide essential insights on our own strengths and highlight opportunities to learn from approaches used in other high performing countries."

Key findings for Northern Ireland include:

• In comparison to other jurisdictions of the UK, results in Northern Ireland were significantly above that of Wales and not significantly different to that of Scotland. However Northern Ireland fell significantly below the average scores in England.

• The performance of high achievers (the top 10%) has been maintained since 2018, although the performance of lower achievers (the bottom 10%) has deteriorated.
News Image
• In Northern Ireland and on average across all OECD countries the score for science has not changed significantly since 2018. However, the scores for mathematics and reading have declined both in Northern Ireland and on average across OECD countries.

• Pupils in Northern Ireland reported an average level of life satisfaction which was significantly lower than the OECD average.

Dr Browne continued: "I wish to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of the 80 post primary schools who worked so hard to make this study happen at a time when the pandemic was most prevalent here. I place on record my sincere thanks to the school leaders, teachers, support staff and pupils who contributed to PISA 2022, providing the only international comparative achievement results collected during the pandemic for this cohort of pupils.

"While these results show our post primary system to be a strong performer on the international stage, they also demonstrate we have more to do. The study shows a significant gap between the average scores of the least disadvantaged quarter of pupils and the most disadvantaged – 81 points in mathematics, 77 in reading and 86 in science. This is not an issue unique to Northern Ireland, indeed this attainment gap was not significantly higher here than on average across OECD countries. However, we need to do more to reduce this differential in attainment.

"Whilst the Department has invested in additional support for the most disadvantaged, the ongoing and significant constraints on our budget has a detrimental impact on the achievement of our children and young people. This important report highlights the need for sustained investment in education in NI to match the rest of the UK."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

29 May 2012
Access To Republic Of Ireland Digital TV Channels Confirmed For Northern Ireland
TV viewers in Northern Ireland will be able to watch TG4 and RTÉ One and Two on Freeview following digital TV switchover, the UK Government confirmed today.
13 June 2005
The 2005 Birthday Honours List for Northern Ireland
The full list of recipients of honours in the 2005 Birthday Honours list for Northern Ireland is as follows: Knighthood: Mr Hugh Orde OBE, Chief Constable, Police Service of Northern Ireland - for services to Northern Ireland. CBE: Mr Robert David Stewart Campbell, Belfast - For Political and public service.
02 November 2022
Julian Simmons Launches Lidl's Festive Trolley Dash
Lidl Northern Ireland has teamed up with renowned broadcaster Julian Simmons for the return of its major festive fundraiser Trolley Dash, in aid of charity partner NSPCC Northern Ireland.
18 July 2022
Lidl Invests Over £1.6m Across NI Business
NI's fastest-growing supermarket retailer, Lidl Northern Ireland, has contributed more than £1.6 million into its staff, local charities and community groups across last year, according to the retailers 2021 Impact Report.
22 July 2021
Abortion Services Must Be Made Available ASAP
Abortion services must be made available in Northern Ireland no later than 31 March, 2022.