Pupils taking PISA in Welsh are behind
I HESITATE to argue with Howard Gunn (WM Letters, September 14) but he makes a great mistake in his characterisation of PISA as Katie Hopkins.
Necessarily the press and media publish and comment on the headline scores of the various countries that take part in PISA but the actual analysis, carried out by Jerrim and Shure last round, runs to 237 pages and there were two further papers commissioned by the Welsh Government that were published subsequently which give even further insight into education attainment in Wales.
If anyone is interested, the comparison of attainment by socio- economic background of pupils can be found in section 6.2, page 108 onward.
In brief, Wales does relatively well in international comparisons of attainment among the most deprived pupils, but at every other level of deprivation we perform poorly in comparison with other countries, including England.
Wales’ failing in PISA is not as a result of particularly poor performance among our deprived pupils but as a result of the singularly poor performance of our best pupils.
One reason why that might be is not a mystery and is explored on page 118 of the PISA analysis; pupils taking the tests in Welsh were the equivalent of one year behind similar pupils taking reading and science tests in English. This factor is, I believe, what Katie Hopkins has been getting at. J Jones Benllech, Anglesey