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Revealed: What’s Wrong with Britain’s Education System

A new survey has revealed where Brits think our education system is falling short.

10,000 people in the UK were asked by school locker manufacturer Action Storage for their insight on where Britain’s schools could be improved most.

The British government came under fire, with 54% of women – and 46% of all respondents – pushing for further funding.

This call for increased government funding comes shortly after Jeremy Corbyn’s outline for a national education service, designed to offer learning opportunities at every stage of life and close the growing productivity gap.

According to the BBC, this year’s Pride Glasgow festival included a drive for schools to educate children on LGBTI issues – and 44% of the British public agree that tackling discrimination and bullying should be a key focus going forward.

Over half of 18-24 year olds said anti-bullying initiatives should be priority number one, making this the greatest concern among Generation Y.

Education through empowerment

One resounding outcome of the survey saw Brits push for more power to be placed in the hands of both teachers and their pupils.

40% of respondents said schools could do more to motivate children, while 56% of 55-64 year olds believe this is an area for significant improvement.

For 38% of Brits, empowering teachers is the answer to improving our education system – and 63% of voters in the North East are convinced this is the case.

13% of people surveyed thought reducing head teachers’ workloads could offer a solution – freeing them up to invest in school development, rather than spending time on day-to-day administrative duties.

New schools of thought

The results of the survey saw Brits question educational paradigms, saying a shakeup to several aspects of the UK school system could be beneficial.

36% of all participants thought schools should rethink the way they deal with bad behaviour, as did a substantial 56% of 45-54 year olds.

Many Brits put stock in students’ progress – calling for simpler exams (18%) and more frequent updates for parents (17%) – while other respondents recommended investing more in new equipment (26%) and anti-theft measures (11%).

In the wake of Britain’s record-breaking performance at the Rio 2016 Olympics, 31% of Brits believe new health and fitness programmes could mark a step in the right direction for our schools.

The survey also revealed an interest in more sustainable schools, as 11% of Brits expressed the importance of an eco-friendly approach.

Scooping just 3% of the London vote, however, it looks like green initiatives aren’t quite as close to people’s hearts in the capital.

Extracurricular activities

Some respondents offered their own two cents on where schools could be most improved – with alternative answers including abolishing academies, addressing mental health awareness and reducing class sizes.

Other responses placed an emphasis on freedom and empowerment, as Brits proposed less restrictive uniform policies, treating students as individuals and helping bright pupils to achieve their true potential.

Mary Lau, Digital Marketing Manager at Action Storage, said: “It’s interesting to see that so many survey respondents believe giving teachers and students more control over education could be the key to real change.

“It’s clear that the British public have some strong opinions with regards to the UK school system, highlighting that there may still be plenty of room for growth across the board – and these improvements may need to start right from the top.”

Topline results:

Respondents were allowed to select multiple answers to the following question:

In which of the following areas do you think schools could be improved most?

  • Increased government funding: 46.3%
  • Tackling bullying: 44.3%
  • Motivating children: 39.8%
  • Empowering teachers: 38.3%
  • Dealing with bad behaviour: 35.8%
  • Implementing health and fitness programmes: 30.8%
  • Investing in new equipment: 25.9%
  • Simplifying the exam process: 18.4%
  • Updating parents on their children’s progress: 16.9%
  • Freeing up head teachers to invest in school development: 12.9%
  • Preventing theft on school premises: 11.4%
  • Adopting an environmentally friendly approach: 10.9%
  • Other: 5.5%

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