PIRLS 2021 involved
Australian primary schools
Conducted every five years since 2001 (with Australia participating since 2011), PIRLS provides policy-relevant information about how to improve teaching and learning so that young students become accomplished and self-sufficient readers.
Full Australian reports and data files are available for all PIRLS surveys from 2011 to 2021.
Participating in PIRLS
A nationally-representative sample of schools is randomly selected to participate in PIRLS. One intact class of Year 4 students from each of the sampled schools is then randomly selected to complete the PIRLS assessment.
Year 4 students are the focus of the PIRLS assessment because they are usually at a key transition point in their schooling, during which they move from learning how to read, to reading in order to learn.
Australia's participation in PIRLS is part of the National Assessment Program (NAP). The information collected through PIRLS helps improve Australia's reading curricula and, ultimately, the educational outcomes of all Australian students.
Measuring common curricula
PIRLS collects information about each participating country’s reading curriculum, goals and standards for instruction, and other relevant national or regional policies. This information is used to inform the assessment framework, ensuring that comparisons between countries are as fair as possible.
Together with the assessment results, PIRLS describes what is intended to be taught in reading (intended curriculum), how it is actually taught (implemented curriculum) and what students have learned (attained curriculum).
The international assessment
PIRLS is a project of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and is directed by the TIMSS and PIRLS International Study Centre at Boston College in collaboration with a worldwide network of organisations and representatives from the participating countries.
More information about the IEA and PIRLS, including the international reports and databases, is available on the IEA's website for PIRLS.