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'BETTER INFORMATION - BETTER SCHOOLS RESULTS': SCOTS MINISTER

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Scottish education minister Brian Wilson said that the participation in a new major international education survey ...
Scottish education minister Brian Wilson said that the participation in a new major international education survey should produce 'better information and improved results' in Scottish schools.

Mr Wilson was announcing Scotland's future participation in a

new programme of education surveys designed by the Organisation for

Economic Co-operation and Development. The surveys will assess the

performance of 15 year olds in mathematics, science and reading.

The first survey is planned to take place in 1999.

Mr Wilson said:

'If we are to address the many education challenges that lie

ahead and create a world class system for our youngsters we must

maintain our international standing in an ever increasingly competitive world. Comparisons with other countries can act as a useful indicator.

'We must focus on achieving higher standards than ever. The

competitiveness of Scottish industry and the well being of our people

depends on the quality of education our children receive. It is important to look overseas and see the progress that other countries are making and ensure that we also strive to improve on our own achievements.

This new survey will help us identify any weaknesses and enhance our

competitive edge.'

NOTES

1. Scotland has participated before in international surveys of

pupil attainment in order to compare the performance of our pupils

with those in other countries. The most recent was the Third

International Mathematics and Science Study.

2. The OECD has been developing a system of educational

indicators which are published in Education at a Glance. The new

surveys are to provide regular and consistent information on pupil

attainment. The OECD will be seeking tenders in September 1997 for

an international centre which is to develop the assessments and oversee the first survey in 1999.

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