Students demand a rigorous education to future-proof their careers


New research into young people’s views on education shows they want modern skills, underpinned by great teaching and strong discipline in the classroom.

The research, published by Pearson and Teach First, shows that more than four fifths of students agree that it's important to learn communication skills (92%), as well as develop confidence and motivation (92%) at school, and experience lessons that are linked to the workplace (82%).

The research draws together the views of more than 8,000 young people across the UK, collected via a series of school debates involving 420 pupils, a Populus poll of 2,002 young people and an online survey by the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations of 5,800 students.

Graham Stuart MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee, said: “The Education Select Committee’s job is to challenge and scrutinise the Department for Education.  The authenticity of young people’s views expressed in this report should mean that, for once, they are not ignored.”

The main findings include:

  • 81 per cent agreed that teachers should have more time to get to know what their students want to achieve so that they can help them to reach their goals. 93 per cent said the top qualities of a teacher were passion for their subject and an enjoyment of teaching
  • More than three quarters (76%) agreed that encouraging tougher discipline in schools would help students to achieve their goals
  • 91 per cent of young people agreed that high-quality qualifications that are respected by universities and employers will help them to improve their learning and reach their goals
  • 85 per cent agreed that these qualifications should test understanding rather than a student’s ability to regurgitate facts 
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