Just over half (53 per cent) of parents in Britain with children of school age believe there is too much focus on exams within the UK A-level curriculum, according to new research.
When asked how they felt towards the UK’s A-level system, only three in ten (31 per cent) said they were satisfied.
The survey of 1,349 parents of 3 to 18-year-olds in Britain, conducted by YouGov, lifts the lid on parental attitudes towards the UK education system, highlighting key areas where parents would like to see greater focus and support.
The study, co-commissioned by Southbank International School and International School of London, revealed that 43 per cent of parents in Britain would like to see a broader range of subjects taught in UK schools, while three in five (61 per cent) would like UK schools to do more to encourage critical thinking skills in young people.
The YouGov GB Parent Omnibus also found that:
- 65 per cent would like more focus on problem solving within UK schools
- 40 per cent would like more focus on independent learning within UK schools
- 37 per cent would like more focus on diversity and inclusion within UK schools
- 40 per cent would like UK schools to do more to encourage IT skills in young people
- 35 per cent would like more focus on global perspectives in UK schools
- 30 per cent would like more focus on community initiatives within UK schools
- 1 in 3 (32 per cent) of parents in Britain would like UK schools to do more to encourage presentation skills in young people
Siobhan McGrath, executive principal of Southbank International School in London said:
“The findings from the research indicate that parents are increasingly becoming aware that how they were educated and prepared for the workplace just doesn’t add up in today’s world, with independent learning, problem solving and critical thinking just three of the prominent themes that parents would like to see more focus on.
“Meanwhile, national rhetoric continues to centre on knowledge based learning and academic success based on achieving the highest grades in exams, rather than focusing on creativity, innovation and the skills needed to cope well with life. Nurturing inquiring, independent minds is something that is central to the International Baccalaureate (IB), which is a curriculum built on the belief that fostering the right behavioural traits will best prepare young people for the real world.”
Richard Parker, head of school, International School of London, said:
“We commissioned this study to better understand parents’ attitudes towards education in the UK, and the findings offer real insight into the direction they want for their children. With only three in ten parents satisfied with the current A-Level system, it’s clear there is real imperative for a different approach.”