Teaching standards: parents pleased

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
April 26, 2012, 4:52 PM GMT+0

73% British parents of school-age kids say teaching standards 'good', versus 53% general public

Good news for teachers: our poll has found that British people with children in full-time education are much more likely than the public as a whole to believe that standards of maths and literacy teaching in British school are good.

Nearly three quarters of parents with school-age children believe that the key skills of mathematics, reading and writing are taught well in British schools, in comparison to just half of the British public. And while two in five British people in general think that the subjects are taught badly, only around a quarter of parents with school-age children think the same.

  • 73% of British parents with school-age children think the subjects are taught well
  • Compared to 53% of Britons think that reading and writing are generally taught well in British schools
  • Just 26% of parents with school-age children think reading and writing are taught badly, versus 37% of British people generally
  • 72% of parents think mathematics is taught well in British schools, compared to just 50% of the public generally who feel the same
  • Just 27% of parents think that mathematics is taught badly – far less than the 40% of British people generally who think the same

'Tackling poor standards?'

Early this year, Education Secretary Michael Gove announced that he would replace 'fifty pages of guidelines' with a set of new teaching standards, in an effort to tackle poor teaching in English schools. Under the new reforms, head teachers will no longer be prevented from spending more than three hours in a particular classroom, and bad teachers will no longer simply move to another school, instead being given the chance to improve in areas where they are lacking.

Commenting on his plans after the proposals first emerged, Gove stated, "Teachers themselves know if there's a colleague who can’t keep control or keep the interest of their class; it affects the whole school.

"Children themselves know they are being cheated. Ultimately we owe it to our children…if a year goes by and they are not being stretched and excited, that blights their life. We have got to think of what’s in the children's interests first."

But while some areas of the teaching community have welcomed the suggested reforms, Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers Christine Blower, called the plans a "bully's charter".

See the survey details and full results here (page 10)