The majority (53%) of parents of school age children in the UK think that A-levels are too focused on exams, according to a new YouGov survey.
Only 31% of respondents to the poll pronounced themselves satisfied with the current A-level system.
The online survey of 1,349 parents of three to 18-year-olds in the UK took place in late October and was co-commissioned by International Baccalaureate providers, Southbank International School and International School London.
Other YouGov findings include:
- 65% of parents would like UK schools to focus more on problem solving
- 61% want to see greater encouragement of critical thinking skills
- 43% would like to see a broader range of subjects taught
- 40% would like more focus on independent learning
- 37% would like more emphasis on diversity and inclusion
- 40% want to see greater encouragement of IT skills
- 35% would like more focus on global perspectives
- 30% want greater emphasis on community initiatives
- 32% would like to see more encouragement of presentation skills
“The findings from the research indicate that parents are increasingly becoming aware that how they were educated and prepared for the workplace just doesn’t add up in today’s world, with independent learning, problem solving and critical thinking just three of the prominent themes that parents would like to see more focus on,” said Siobhan McGrath, executive principal at Southbank International School.
“Meanwhile, national rhetoric continues to centre on knowledge-based learning and academic success based on achieving the highest grades in exams, rather than focusing on creativity, innovation and the skills needed to cope well with life.”
Richard Parker, head at International School of London, added: “We commissioned this study to better understand parents’ attitudes towards education in the UK, and the findings offer real insight into the direction they want for their children. With only three in 10 parents satisfied with the current A-level system, it’s clear there is real imperative for a different approach.
“The IB has always taken a holistic approach to education. Focusing on independent learners, who engage with global issues, means their programmes are the best preparation for the world we live in today.”
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