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Spain is one of the countries with the best school climate and student well-being

Tuesday 3 December 2019

These results show that the school climate and the well-being of students in Spain are among the best in the participating countries thanks to low levels of school bullying and a sense of belonging at school.

86.8% of Spanish students claim to get on well with other students, 86.5% feel involved and some 81% make friends easily at their school, placing Spain in first place on the index in terms of a sense of belonging to their school, according to data from PISA. This provides students with a sense of security, identity and community which help academic, psychological and social development in a positive sense.

This well-being is also associated with bullying, which affects 17% of Spanish students. This figure is six points below the OECD average, although it has gone up two points since 2015. The index for exposure to bullying in our country is also one of the lowest in this series while sensitivity to this situation is higher than the OECD average.

Spanish students who took part in this test also claimed to be generally happy with their lives (74% compared with the OECD average 67%). This satisfaction is higher among boys, privileged children and non-immigrants.

Fall in marks and stable results

In this edition of PISA, performance was evaluated in mathematics, science and reading (the results in this category were not published for Spain following a decision by the OECD). All autonomous regions took part with sizable samples.

Ministerio de Educación y Formación ProfesionalIn mathematics, the results have remained largely stable since 2009, with only slight variations over the last four cycles. Spain, with 481 points (five down on 2015) is below the OECD average of 489, which has shown a slight but steady decline, coinciding with the level of Italy, the United States and Hungary. As in each new edition, girls are improving their performance in mathematics, with performance by boys falling by nearly six points, and an accumulated fall of 19 points since 2009, the largest fall in total.

In science, Spain (483) achieved six points less than the OECD average of 489 and 10 less than in 2015, placing the country above Italy, Luxembourg and Iceland, among others. Boys and girls had similar results in this category, which, despite the fall recorded when compared with the previous edition in 2015, remains fairly stable, according to the OECD.

Socio-economic status is a strong predictor of results in mathematics and science in all countries, and goes to explain a 12% variation in mathematics results and a 10% difference in science in Spain. Furthermore, students from immigrant families achieved worse results than those from non-immigrant families in both categories.

In terms of single-sex education, Spanish results proved to be very similar to the OECD average but with significant differences between autonomous regions. While Cantabria, La Rioja, Aragon, Castile and Leon and Galicia had results in line with the Scandinavian countries, the Region of Madrid, Ceuta and Melilla had higher results.

In this 7th edition of PISA, more than 1,000 schools took part with more than 35,000 students, providing a broad representative sample of 15 year-old students in each of the autonomous regions. The majority of the students are from the fourth year of ESO (Compulsory Secondary Education).

Non official translation