British public attitudes to education and children’s services: part of NatCen’s British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey
The Department for Education (DfE) has commissioned questions on NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey (BSA) on a number of occasions since its inception in 1983. In 2018, the Department commissioned a set of questions measuring public attitudes in relation to children’s lives, teachers’ pay and workload, foreign languages and higher education and the education system. Key findings from these questions are summarised below.
- The majority of respondents (85%) agreed that children today are under more pressure from advertisements than children were 10 years ago.
- Furthermore, only about 1 in 10 (12%) people thought that children today are happier than children were 10 years ago.
- About half of the respondents (52%) thought that children today had better educational opportunities than those 10 years ago.
- Nearly half of the respondents (47%) said that teachers worked too hard while 43% thought that teachers’ workload was around the right amount. A similar proportion (44%) also thought teachers were paid about the right amount.
- Respondents with family or friends working as a teacher were more likely to say teachers worked too hard or that teachers were not being paid enough, compared to respondents who did not know a teacher.
- Respondents were fairly equally split on whether they had heard of the change in GCSEs grading system with 53% saying yes, 46% saying no, and 1% did not know.
- There was an overwhelming consensus (83%) of the importance of studying a foreign language GCSE at school, while 61% agreed that studying a foreign language GCSE will become more important in ten years’ time.
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