IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: Behind the numbers: a dive into England’s TIMSS 2019 results

03 February 2021, 2:00 pm–5:00 pm

Pupil doing sums on school whiteboard. Image: Phil Meech for UCL Institute of Education

This conference offers the opportunity to explore the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 findings and implications.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Christina Swensson

In 2019, almost 9,600 year five and year nine pupils from 368 schools in England took part in the latest TIMSS assessments. The study has taken place every four years since 1995, and in 2019, included pupils from 64 countries.

As well as looking at England’s pupils’ results, topics such as gender, socio-economic status, school and home environment, and impact on educational performance will be discussed. 

This year England’s pupils performed above most other countries, significantly improving in mathematics at year five, but declining significantly in science at year nine. 

There were gender differences in attitudes toward mathematics and science (although no differences in average achievement by gender) and pupils at the lower end of the socio-economic scale performed less well than their more well-off peers. 

Conference contributors will explore the reasons behind these and other results. 

This virtual conference will include both presentations and panel discussions and will be of interest to researchers, policymakers and members of the teaching profession (including teachers in the schools that took part). It will also be of interest to those who want to know more about international testing.


  • Dr Mary Richardson, Associate Professor of Educational Assessment at the UCL Institute of Education and Co-Writer of the national TIMSS report for England
  • Dr Tina Isaacs, Honorary Associate Professor at the UCL Institute of Education and Co-Writer of the national TIMSS report for England
  • Dr Grace Grima, Director of Research at Pearson (Grace led on the testing for TIMSS 2019)
  • Charlie Stripp, Director at the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM)
  • Vanessa Kind, Professor of Education at Durham University and former chemistry teacher


Image: Phil Meech for UCL Institute of Education