Irish Primary Pupils' Score Above National Average In Maths And Science

The Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, has welcomed a report examining Irish primary pupils' progress in maths and science in an international peer study.

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) provides details of student achievement in maths and science at primary level in 50 countries.

The tests were undertaken by 4th class pupils in 2011.

Irish students scored significantly above the international average in both subjects; they were placed 17th in maths, and 22nd in science.

In maths, Ireland had greater numbers of higher performing pupils and fewer lower performing pupils than average. More than twice the percentage of students in Ireland reached the Advanced International Benchmark (the highest category of performance) in mathematics than was the international norm- 9% in Ireland compared to 4% internationally. Fewer Irish pupils failed to reach the Low International Benchmark than pupils in other countries – 6% in Ireland compared to 10% internationally.

In science, 7% of Irish students reached the Advanced International Benchmark compared to an international average of 5%. At 8%, the percentage of Irish students who did not reach the Low International Benchmark was the same as the international average.

Despite these positive outcomes, students in a number of countries scored significantly better than students in Ireland in both the mathematics and science tests.

Minister Sherlock said: "I welcome this information on how Irish students are performing in maths and science.

"We want our students to be among the best in the world, and whilst these results are positive, I acknowledge that there is room for improvement.

"I am committed to supporting maths and science in our schools, and I know that the Department of Education and Skills is carefully considering the report's findings, with a view to informing future policy and continuing to improve outcomes for all pupils."


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