ASCL comment on TIMSS 2019

08/12/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the publication of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019.
 
Commenting on the publication of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

Congratulations to teachers in England and Northern Ireland on the results of this international study. Both countries have performed particularly well in primary maths and this represents a superb achievement of which schools should feel very proud.

There is concern over the dip in secondary science scores in England, although it remains in the top 15 highest-performing nations. We would welcome further investigation into why this has happened and what more can be done to improve this position. What we do know is that schools work incredibly hard to give their pupils the best possible education in all subjects.

One measure that would help enormously is to improve the recruitment and retention of teachers, particularly in secondary maths and science where it has proved enormously difficult over recent years. This is because salaries have not kept pace with inflation, and because schools have been placed under intolerable pressure by a government which has failed to fund them sufficiently while asking ever more of them. 

We recognise the government’s efforts to improve this situation but there is still much to be done.