Massive majority of students want tougher discipline in schools, survey finds

5th November 2013 at 00:01

More than three quarters of students want tougher discipline in school, new research from Pearson and Teach First has found. 

In the report My Education, when asked if tougher discipline for students who misbehaved would help all students achieve their goals, 41 per cent of students strongly agreed and 36 per cent agreed.

The report was put together with the advice of nine ‘youth ambassadors’ – students aged 15 to 19.

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the findings were part of an ongoing trend.

“The fact is that children want to learn, they want to make good progress and they don’t want any disruption to their lessons, Lightman said. 

"That is a very clear and consistent message. This report is an impressive piece of work with really interesting insights into what young people want from their education.”

And Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, agreed. “Young people like structure and discipline is part of that. It is not necessarily saying that it’s all dreadful at the moment, but students do notice when one or two children disrupt a class and they get as irritated as teachers do by that.

"It is quite a positive finding and help schools realise that a certain discipline policy is in the interests of teachers and students,” Hobby added.

Haenguen Chi was one of the youth ambassadors involved. She said that the views of students were currently missing from the debates education reform.

“We want our studies to help us succeed in our careers and achieve our dreams.”

The study found students were focused on their ability to get jobs with more than nine out of ten saying communication skills and confidence were important and a further 88 per cent said they wanted to be taught how to write a CV and manage a bank account.

But they also wanted an inspiring education that was about more than simply gaining grades.

Above all they wanted teachers with a passion for their subject and an enjoyment of teaching. (93 per cent)

Brett Wigdortz, founder and chief executive of Teach First, said: “This research has demonstrated the importance of having capable, passionate teachers in the classroom, not just to help students pass exams, but to help them develop a full range of personal and professional skills that will be most useful to them in the world of work.”

The research drew together the views of 8,000 young people via a poll of 2,000 students, an online survey of 5,800 students and school debates featuring 420 pupils.


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