Research: Schools Today, Schools Tomorrow
How can current viewpoints on education support schools moving forward?
Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending Pearson’s launch event to find out more about their most recent research project, ‘School Report 2022.’ This report culminates current views of education in England for 2022 and beyond …
About the research
Pearson wanted to commission a nationally representative survey of teachers in order to find out more about the sector’s current trends and needs.
The poll was carried out between 12th and 25th April 2022.
Almost 7,000 educators were polled, including teachers and senior leaders from across England. Responses were collected by Teacher Tapp.
‘Together, we’re creating a picture of what’s needed to shape a system that fully reflects the diversity of all learners, and the teachers supporting them. We know this is a continuing journey and one that won’t reach its destination overnight. We are committed to working with every part of the sector to make it happen.’
(Sharon Hague, Managing Director, Pearson School Qualifications, 2022)
The following headlines have been taken directly from The School Report (2022). I would urge everyone to download the full document in order to unpick the data further. The document is very visual in content and shows where the education system should focus its attention moving forward.
According to the report, 6 in 10 teachers do not think that the current education system is developing tolerant, sustainably-minded citizens of the future. Teachers would like to see resilience, kindness and self-esteem and also tolerance of diverse opinions and social and cultural awareness in future curriculums.
Over half of teachers responded that they spent less than 30 minutes of a working day developing pupils’ social and emotional skills and many, particularly in primary, would like to spend more time each day developing this area.
Teachers are increasingly concerned about the effect of ongoing world events on learners and have seen a rise in pupil awareness around global issues, resulting in an increase in pupil anxiety.
Barriers and support
Almost three-quarters of teachers think attendance will be a barrier to pupil learning in their school. The majority of teachers feel confident in their abilities to support students with pastoral issues however, are concerned about resources to do this effectively.
The continuing impact of Covid
More than 8 in 10 teachers say the effects of Covid-19 are still being experienced in their school in terms of pupil absence, staff absence or pupil mental health. Teachers have also seen anxiety increase due to these issues.
Future barriers to learning
By far the largest barrier cited was mental health with 81% of all teachers considering this a major barrier to learning. This is closely followed by attendance at 71%. Further barriers include SEND, poverty and hunger.
School leader perspectives
More than 1 in 3 school leaders think their school will reduce support staff or restrict the use of resources to reduce spending over the next academic year. 30% think their school will reduce investment in their premises over the next academic year.
Special educational needs
Teachers are widely in favour of many of the proposals outlined in the Green Paper. These include further educational psychologist support, digital EHCP plans, better identification and support for mainstream pupils as well as improved local offers of services.
With this research in mind, it is clear that more challenges are ahead. I ask the question, how will these urgently needed improvements be effectively implemented with school leaders needing to reduce spending and staffing?
I hope that this report, as well as other current research can pave the way for positive educational reform.