Survey predicts school trends for 2012

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Improving discipline in schools, raising exam results and an increased emphasis on Maths and Science will be the biggest trends in education in 2012, according to research.

With schools throughout the country returning on Monday, the study conducted by Encyclopædia Britannica reveals nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of people believe discipline will be the single biggest issue that schools face in the coming year.

And with both A-level and GCSE results continuing to improve year-on-year, added to continuing concerns over “soft” subjects dominating the curriculum, raising exam scores (16 per cent) and encouraging students to focus on Maths and Science (10 per cent) will also feature prominently.

Inside the classroom, the revolution in technology will continue to be one of the most important themes for schools. Mobile learning, including educational apps, smart devices and netbooks will become more popular with teachers and students, while schools will also invest more in ICT infrastructure. Alongside this, classroom collaboration among pupils and the implementation of a more creative curriculum in schools could also take-off this year.

The research also reveals that several current educational debates are set to continue into 2012. Nearly one in 10 (nine per cent) believe that for many schools the movement to academy status will dominate the education pages, while the adoption of the International Baccalaureate  - which encourages pupils to focus on five key disciplines - and reforming school career advice will also top headteachers’ priority lists.

 Caroline Kennard, Director of Education at Encyclopædia Britannica, said: “2012 is set to be a very important year in the education sector. As teachers and students return to the classroom on Monday, many schools throughout the country are facing the familiar pressures of managing squeezed budgets and overcrowded timetables, while trying to raise standards.

“But as our research suggests, 2012 presents our schools with a number of exciting opportunities. With both Science and Maths improving in popularity for A-levels and GCSEs, combined with the rapid development of classroom technology, Britannica is excited that in today's climate, schools will have a unique opportunity to benefit fully from the digital revolution.”

The top predicted trends in education in 2012:

  1. Improving discipline
  2. Improving exam results
  3. Increased emphasis on Maths & Science
  4. Moving to Academy status
  5. Increasing parental engagement
  6. Developing a more creative curriculum
  7. Providing more career advice
  8. Shift to mobile learning (e.g. iPads)
  9. One-to-one ICT learning
  10. Home education
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