Pearson, in collaboration with the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA), has been awarded the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2021 contract by the Department for Education to operate as the National Centre for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In total, around 90 countries and economies are expected to participate in PISA 2021, an international study which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by measuring the knowledge and skills of students aged 15 years in reading, mathematics and science. The focus area in this PISA cycle will be mathematics.
Pearson will be the national Centre for PISA 2021, meaning that it will be responsible for the implementation of the study in over 450 schools across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Associate Professor Grace Grima, Director of Research at Pearson, will lead as the National Programme Manager. OUCEA will be responsible for the data analysis, writing of the national reports, and the dissemination of the PISA 2021 results, under the leadership of Professor Therese N. Hopfenbeck, and Associate Professor Joshua McGrane.
PISA is the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, and PISA 2021 is the eighth cycle of it. Every three years, PISA tests what 15-year-olds are able to do in reading, mathematics and science. The tests are designed to capture how students master certain skills such as reading strategies, problem solving in mathematics and critical reading in science, skills that are important beyond the classroom. Results of the tests are published one year after students sit them, and presented internationally both through OECD’s reports and national reports in participating countries. In addition to the PISA assessments, students respond to a student questionnaire providing information about their home background, language use, parents and caregivers, approaches to learning and interest in the different subjects. Some countries also choose to administer additional questionnaires to students, parents and caregivers, and/or class teachers.
Professor Therese N. Hopfenbeck is the Principal Investigator for the three research reports from England, Northern Ireland and Wales and she is responsible for the dissemination plan of PISA 21 results. In addition she will sit on the Operational Board and the Research Advisory Board.
Therese has been working on PISA both theoretically and empirically, using data from all cycles since 2006. She published her Ph.D using data from the PISA06 study, with analysis of the Cross Curricular Competencies Questionnaire, with focus upon students’ approaches to learning, their self-regulation, resilience and motivation. She worked as a test developer for the Problem Solving Team PISA12, was a member of the Questionnaire Expert Group for PISA18, and she is currently an active expert member of the PISA21 Questionnaire Expert Group.
Associate Professor Joshua McGrane will be writing the three country reports and overseeing the quantitative data analysis.
Having completed his award-winning Ph.D in Quantitative Psychology at the University of Sydney, he went on to work as a psychometrician for the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) in the New South Wales Department of Education.
In his current role at OUCEA he has participated in a broad range of national and international studies. Joshua was involved with the delivery of PIRLS16 and was the lead author and data analyst on the PIRLS 2016 National Report for England.
Dr Kit S. Double, Research Fellow OUCEA.
Kit’s main responsibility will be carrying out the analysis needed for the three country reports.
After completing his Ph.D in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Sydney, he went on to work on the development of intelligence tests for Psychology Assessments Australia. He has also collaborated with large industry partners on the assessment of organisational psychology programs.
Kit has conducted and published several meta-analyses as he developed his expertise in quantitative research synthesis. In his current role at OUCEA he has published widely on the subject of educational psychology.
Jo-Anne is the UK member of the Advisory Group for the PISA21 responsible for the quality assurance of the project and ensuring that the project is running to the expected standards and advising on procedures and priorities as needed.
Before coming to Oxford, Jo-Anne held academic posts at the Institute of Education, University of London and the University of Bristol.
Jo-Anne previously held the position of Head of Research at the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, where she managed the research programme and was responsible for the standard-setting systems for public examinations. Her first degree and doctorate were in psychology and she has an MBA. Her current research projects include Setting and Maintaining Standards in national examinations, Examination reform: the impact of modular and linear examinations at GCSE, Assessment for Learning in Africa (AFLA), intelligent accountability and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study England national centre.
Her research interests are in educational assessment, including system-wide structures and processes, examination standards, marking and assessment design. Jo-Anne conducts a lot of work with government and industry partners, including acting as the Standing Adviser to the House of Commons Education Select Committee, a member of Ofqual’s Standing Advisory Group and membership of the Welsh Government’s Curriculum and Assessment Group. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Oxford Review of Education journal and the International Advisory Board of Assessment in Education: principles, policy & practice. She has been a Visiting Professor at the universities of Bergen, Queen’s (Belfast) and Umea. From 2013 to 2015 she was President of the Association for Educational Assessment – Europe.
Jonas is the international member of the Advisory Group for the PISA21 responsible for the quality assurance of the project and ensuring that the project is running to the expected standards and advising on procedures and priorities as needed.
In his role as NAEP Item Development Deputy Director and PISA 2021 Core B2 Project Director, Jonas is leading research-based development of socio-emotional skills and opportunity-to-learn measures for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) at Educational Testing Service (ETS).
Dr Jenni Ingram, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Oxford.
is the expert for the policy landscape for England, ensuring that all processes are in line with priorities, emerging needs and trends that make most sense and ensuring that PISA21 adds value generally and in specific areas of interest in our understanding of student achievements.
Jenni is a member of the Mathematics Expert Group for PISA21. She has published extensively on subjects around education and assessments with a focus on teaching methods, and pupil learning experience of Mathematics in the classroom. Her research projects include a collaboration with Ofqual on a government funded project to understand the linearization of GCSE examinations.
Professor Chris Taylor, Cardiff co-Director of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods, Cardiff University.
Chris is the expert for the policy landscape for Wales, ensuring that all processes are in line with priorities, emerging needs and trends that make most sense and ensuring that PISA21 adds value generally and in specific areas of interest in our understanding of student achievements.
Having graduated with a PhD in ‘The Geography of the New Education Market’ from Leicester University, Chris went onto become the Co-Director of the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods, Cardiff University. Chris’ publications cover a wide range of educational issues and includes a focus on the implementation of curriculum reform in Wales and widening access to higher education through policy. Chris is Editor of the British Educational Research Journal as well as sitting on the editorial board of the Journal of Education Policy and the British Journal of Sociology of Education.
Professor Janette Elwood, Dean of Graduate Studies, Faculty of AHSS, Queen’s University, Belfast
Janette is the expert for the policy landscape for Northern Ireland, ensuring that all processes are in line with priorities, emerging needs and trends that make most sense and ensuring that PISA21 adds value generally and in specific areas of interest in our understanding of student achievements.
Jannette’s core research interests are around the social constructions and consequences of tests, examinations and assessment practices. Her research publications include a review of national assessment policy reform for GCSE in Northern Ireland and Wales, its consequences for young people and their experience of it. Janette is a founding member of the Association for Education Assessment-Europe and currently the President, and an Executive Editor of the journal Assessment in Education.
The Department for Education has appointed OUCEA and Pearson in partnership to administer PISA 21 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
PISA measures what 15 year olds are able to do at the end of their compulsory schooling in mathematics, science. The test questions do not measure memorization of facts, but rather demand that students draw on knowledge and real-world problem solving skills.
Students sit for a test, before responding to a questionnaire asking about their motivation for school, their homes, parents, interests, and study behaviour and similar.
The purpose of the study is to provide internationally comparative data on how well students in different countries perform in mathematics, reading and science. Each country’s results are presented in a national report and compared to international results.
The PISA National Centre adheres strictly to the Data Protection Act (INSERT LINK). Individual pupils, teachers and schools will not be identified in any report or publication released by the Department for Education or its partners.
In 2019, OECD published a policy brief explaining some results from PISA on parents knowledge of their child’s school friends. The brief can be read here:
You can also watch a short video explaining the PISA study here: