PISA is the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment. PISA measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges.

The 2018 results show the UK rising in reading, math and science but lagging behind the top perfgormers.

In response, Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust, said:

“It is good to see improvements in the UK’s maths, reading and science ranking.  It is encouraging that we’re beating the OECD average when it comes to the gap between rich and poor students. But overall, the middling result for the UK is a cause for concern.

“To alleviate this situation we need to do more to narrow the gap between rich and poor students, particularly for the highest performing ones. We need more focus on improving the quality of existing teachers through better professional development as well as improvement in school leadership.”


  • The Sutton Trust is committed to improving social mobility from birth to the workplace. Founded by Sir Peter Lampl in 1997, the Trust has supported over 30,000 young people through evidence-led programmes and published over 200 pieces of agenda-setting research, many of which have influenced government policy.

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