Teachers wish schools would prep students for more than just exams

A survey shows parents, pupils and teachers across the North East all agree there now needs to be a significant shift in the education system.

As charity Big Change and the Innovation Unit released their report, they stated current education systems leave ‘teachers, students and parents feeling disempowered’

Survey data from YouGov and TeacherTapp shows that teachers, students and parents throughout the North want less focus on cramming for exams:

82% of teachers throughout the North East think school is preparing children for exams, but 7 in 10 (72%) teachers wish exams were not the main focus.

And less than half (43%) of all children aged 11-18 across the North of England/ Scotland think school should prepare young people for passing exams – compared with 72% who think they should be learning how to manage money and 69% who think they should be learning how to be better communicators.

Across the region Teachers, parents and students all wanted to see more focus on preparing young people for the future and helping them to become good citizens:

8 out of 10 (82%) of teachers throughout the North East wished school would focus more on improving children’s social and communication skills

82% Teachers in the region also wanted to see more focus on teaching young people how to make a positive difference to society or the planet

Almost two-thirds of children aged 11-18 living in the North of England/ Scotland (65%) wish that education did more to help students learn about making a positive difference to society and the planet.

Almost three quarters of all teachers (73%) in the region wanted education to prioritise helping students get the job they want.

Students in the North/ Scotland wanted to see a shift in how they learn, beyond the traditional classroom setting.

Students aged 11-18 in the region feel they learn well when interacting with their peers (79%) and with other adults outside of school (40%) – yet this is not the norm in the current education system.

The survey shows widespread acknowledgement that the education system needs a significant change, but currently, that change is not coming.

The survey also revealed three-quarters of teachers (71%) across the country, thought the Government held the most power to positively reform education. With teachers stating students (8%) and employers (5%) held the least power.

The survey results came at a time when politicians are being accused of being distracted by Brexit, with very little meaningful change to education policy in recent years.

The new report from Big Change and Innovation Unit demonstrates how important it is for parents, teachers and pupils to be brought along, as well as the communities around them.

The ‘Reimagining Education Together’ report highlights twenty examples from across the world of pioneers who are making change happen in their schools, communities and on a broader scale. They show how businesses, parents, governments and whole communities can come together to reimagine education and take learning beyond the classroom.

Andreas Schleicher, director for the Directorate of Education and Skills at the OECD, said: “This report from Big Change is an important contribution to the urgent debate on the need for change in our education system.

“Where systems don’t involve actors like parents or teachers in the design of change, they are unlikely to help you with implementing it. That is why educational leaders are rarely successful with reform unless they build a shared understanding and collective ownership for change, and unless they create accountability measures designed to encourage innovation rather than compliance.

“The exam system in the UK, in particular, is not currently doing this, and teachers, students and parents feel disempowered. This report should lay the foundations for us to give everyone in the system the tools to effect the change we need.”

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