"We are delighted to see the positive progress in UK PISA scores, especially the improvement in Reading and Maths. These reflect the hard work of staff, pupils and governors in schools across England who show the system is one that competes with the best internationally. There is, of course, more work to be done but we are trending in the right direction.
"Identifying the contributing factor would only be speculation, but with reading scores rising we cannot ignore the foundation set by free schools for learning. They have the highest scores for Key Stage 1 phonics, setting students up with the skills to thrive at all levels of education. This does not mean the answer to success is solely free schools, as we believe for English schools to continue rising in the ranks we must collaborate as a sector and learn from each other’s successes and failures.
"Despite scores increasing, we cannot escape how far our schools fall behind the OECD averages on pupil wellbeing and attitudes to learning. This must be a wake-up call for schools and those in leadership to prioritise the wellbeing of children so the next generation has a lifelong love of learning."