Our Annual Parent Survey suggests that parents worry their children are unprepared for the future job market


According to our data less than half (46%) of all parents believe their child’s school prepares pupils well for the future job market, with only two fifths (43%) saying their child’s school offers good career advice.

Our research shows that despite three in four (76%) parents saying their child’s school teaches a curriculum that meets their needs, only three out of five (59%) think it prepares pupils to become responsible adults.

When it comes to personal development, only half (49%) believe their school effectively helps children develop good mental health and wellbeing (we previously reported* four in 10 (39%) of all respondents said if more money was made available to their school, it should be spent on mental health services).  In addition:

  • Less than three in five (57%) parents said their school adequately helped children develop skills that are useful outside of school (critical thinking problem solving, teamwork etc).
  • Half (53%) of all respondents said their school teaches life skills, such as self-confidence and resilience well.

On the issue of subject choice, two thirds (67%) of parents said their child’s school helps pupils develop an in-depth knowledge of certain subjects well, but over a third (35%) believe the choice of subjects available is too limited. In addition:

  • Half (51%) of all respondents believed their child’s school sufficiently includes vocational subjects in the curriculum
  • Three quarters (75%) agreed the curriculum should include lessons that focus on relationships education, but only six in 10 (61%) said this is done effectively by their school
  • Two thirds (65%) of parents said their school sufficiently includes subjects that go beyond traditional academic subjects, such as drama and music;
  • Two thirds (66%) of parents said their school helps children develop good physical health;
  • Nearly two thirds (64%) of parents said schools supporting pupils’ spiritual development is important; while 58% believe it is done well, more than one in 10 (14%) say there is too much emphasis on this part of the curriculum.Another 13% feel there is too little focus on it.

Our Chief Executive John Jolly says about the results:

“Although parents are broadly happy with the curriculum taught by their child’s school, it is concerning to see that half of them worry their children are not being prepared well enough or with adequate careers advice to compete in today’s job market.

We need to embrace the talents of our young people and ensure schools are offering a wide range of subjects which include academic and vocational options as well as those that are pursued for the sheer enjoyment of them.  Importantly, choices shouldn’t be influenced or directed by school performance measures but children should be encouraged and supported to follow their inherent interests and thrive in subjects which resonate with their potential career choices.”

You can read the full report here



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