About PIRLS

Welcome to the homepage for PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) in Ireland.

PIRLS is an international study of Fourth class pupils’ reading literacy which takes place every five years.  Ireland took part for the first time in 2011 as part of a combined study with a sister project called TIMSS (assessing maths and science).  Then, 325,000 pupils in 49 countries were assessed.  The results of the 2016 study are not yet available, but when released, will include the results of PIRLS paper-based tests, and of an assessment of digital literacy called ePIRLS.

The Educational Research Centre manages Ireland’s participation in PIRLS, on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.  In 2016, Ireland was one of 50 countries and 10 benchmarking participants that took part in PIRLS, and one of 13 countries and three benchmarking participants that took part in ePIRLS.  148 primary schools in Ireland took part in the main study.  Researchers in Boston and Hamburg are currently analysing the dataset and preparing it so that researchers in each of the participating countries can begin work on their national PIRLS reports. In Ireland, an initial national report on PIRLS 2016 will be published at the end of 2017, to coincide with the release of the international report on December 5th.

Information leaflets were designed before the study in Ireland to answer some of the ‎common questions of participating pupils, parents and school staff. A sample pupil ‎leaflet can be found here  and a sample leaflet for parents and ‎school staff can be found here.

For more information about how PIRLS operates manually, see http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/.

The remainder of this site gives more information about PIRLS, in Ireland and internationally.  Click the links below if you’d like more information about:

Countries who took part in PIRLS 2016

Publications

Sample questions

Assessment framework

Contact details

National Advisory Committee