Education choices

Choosing schools:

As our schools reassemble after the long summer break, we can look at attitudes towards parents’ choice of school to send their children to.  A recent study conducted in 2016 among 1,000 parents for HCSS Education found 67% agreeing that parents should have the basic right to choose their childrens’ schools.

But as shown in the AMSR Archive, a MORI ‘Teachers’ Omnibus Survey’ conducted in 2005 among 477 secondary school teachers in England and Wales for the Sutton Trust found:

  • Only 31% agreeing that “school choice is a reality for most parents”
  • Only 31% agreeing that “school choice has improved school standards”, and
  • Only 41% agreeing “the current system of admissions to secondary schools operates fairly”.

 

Academies:

This survey also examined teachers’ attitudes to the growth of academies, with results accessible on the AMSR website.

Back in 2005, 53% of teachers agreed that “academies are an appropriate way of raising standards of education”. But among British adults from 2011 to 2016, support for the existing academies declined from 40% to 25%.

Confirming the downward trend in support for more academies, in 2016 a YouGov survey of 8259 teachers found only 17% thought that turning more schools into academies will make educational standards better, while 48% thought it would make them worse.

Part of the problem seems to lie in the lack of knowledge and understanding among parents: the recent HCSS survey in 2016 found that only 42% of them understood what an academy is, and its benefits.

 

Peter Bartram

September 2019