What’s your role? How were you involved in creating the PISA 2025 Science Framework?

I am the PISA 2025 Project Director for Frameworks, which means I have led the project within OUP since it started. PISA was my first project when I joined OUP in early 2019, and it was actually a very nostalgic return to some things for me — I was again working with Fathima Dada, OUP’s Managing Director for Education, and I was again working on a PISA Framework, and I would again be working with experts who I had originally met in 2010.

We submitted the bid to the OECD (who run PISA) in August 2019, and I remember the tension and excitement of waiting to hear whether we had won. I’m delighted to say that we did and we started work on the Framework later in 2019.

The rest has been a rather crazy ride, which I would not have missed it for anything, meeting lovely people in OUP and from around the world and ultimately delivering my fifth PISA Framework project.

What are you looking forward to seeing in the results?

The Framework for 2025 is so much broader than the first one I worked on for the 2015 test and it reminds me how tricky the world and life is for 15-year-old children.

We had the task of describing ‘Science’ against a backdrop of an evolving pandemic, the climate emergency accelerating with young people demonstrating strongly, and a media environment where misinformation can be given the same presence as scientific fact.

Ultimately, I am looking forward to hearing how we can better prepare children in 2025 for their future study and careers. I cannot wait to see how the world’s education systems are preparing our young people for this complex landscape, and for the Framework and the data from the 2025 assessment to be used to drive policy change. It will help education ministries see ways they can improve their education systems, and for us to celebrate the improvements that are being made – something we are all part of at OUP.

What’s next for you? 

Whilst PISA is always in my heart, I do actually have plenty to do in my other projects, with my amazing team.

We continue to deliver the Oxford Primary English Reading Assessment (OPERA) project, which is creating a digital reading assessment within an iOS/Android app in China. It is also generating content we can lift-and-shift into other platforms – we already have a prototype in schools in the UK and internationally.

We are developing a series of end-of-phase digital assessments for the Oxford International Curriculum, which will boost the experience for schools. We are supporting the Oxford Smart projects and just starting the GCSE assessment thinking with the UK Science team.

I do have to pinch myself each day to check I am not dreaming: projects that are data rich needing analysis, projects that are entirely digital allowing me to overlap with my roots in electronics design, and projects that are there to help children across the world – happy days!