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
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
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.