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PISA results mark a “decade of underachievement”, say Welsh Conservatives

Figures published today by the OECD reveal that Wales has for the fourth time in a decade finished significantly behind all other UK nations in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

The triennial report - which measures the aptitude of 15-year-old children from 72 countries in Maths, Science and Reading – shows that Wales has again scored beneath the OECD average on these subjects. 

Despite making modest progress in maths since the last assessment in 2012, the results also reveal that Wales has gone backwards in reading and science. All scores are however lower than they were in the first assessment 10 years ago.  

In its worst performing subject, reading, Wales now sits on a par with Hungary and Lithuania

Welsh Conservatives say the results mark a “decade of underachievement” and represent a “scandal of monumental proportions”. Today they’re calling for the Welsh Government to develop a clear strategy to improve future performance.

Darren Millar AM, Welsh Conservative spokesman for education, said:

"Our children deserve a first class education system that is world-beating, but today's PISA rankings show that successive Welsh Labour Governments have failed to deliver one.

"In spite of all the tough talking and promises to do better from the First Minister, today's figures place us, yet again, in the bottom half of the global education league table and re-confirm Wales' status as the worst performing school system in the UK.

"That our results in 2015 were actually worse than in 2006 signifies a decade of underachievement and is a scandal of monumental proportions.

"Instead of downplaying the importance of these results for our young people and the future of the Welsh economy, the Cabinet Secretary must go back to the drawing board to develop a clear strategy with measurable targets that will turn this performance around - our children and our young people deserve nothing less."