“In TIMSS* 2007 England performed significantly above the TIMSS scale average in both grades and subjects for the first time,” wrote the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER
). The scores of English 10 and 14 year-olds had increased appreciably in both Maths and Science since the tests were first taken in 1999.
King’s College academic, Dr Jeremy Hodgen, whose own research found a slight decline in pupils’ ability to handle ratio, fractions and algebra and a slight increase in their ability to handle decimals over 30 years, told FullFact
that TIMSS scores revealed a different trend – maths ability in English pupils was improving. He explained that the National Numeracy Strategy meant the Maths curriculum was closer to areas tested by TIMSS, and his own research measured ability three months before TIMSS.
At the beginning of 2011, LSN
reported how in July 2010 Baroness Morgan of Drefelin asked Lord Hill why the positive TIMSS results were ignored by ministers who instead appeared to relish rubbishing the achievement of English pupils. She did not receive a reply. The Government continues to ignore TIMSS while repeating the flawed 2000 PISA UK figures to demonstrate falling standards.
When the Government claims that its reforms are underpinned by evidence, it is essential that it considers all the evidence and not just that which appears to confirm its preconceived ideas.
*Trends in Maths and Science Survey