Britons worry most about education

21st March 1997 at 00:00
Britain may be at the heart of Europe according to the rhetoric, but a new poll has showed up one significant difference. We are terribly worried by the state of education, while our Continental colleagues are blithely unconcerned.

A survey of 13 European countries this week revealed that education rates third in the domestic concerns of British voters, mentioned by 30 per cent as being one of the nation's most pressing problems.

By contrast, education is nowhere to be seen in the European list of the top 10 concerns. Mentioned by just 6 per cent of the sample overall - and that includes the British - it comes in way below AidsHIV, which is rated tenth.

Michele Corrado of the market reseach firm MORI, which carried out the work in Britain, said: "This level of concern about education here wasn't a surprise because our regular polls have told a similar story since the early 1990s. What was a surprise was how much more of a concern it was with the British than their European counterparts."

The cause for such a marked difference is not known, although it does suggest that for whatever reason other nations are more satisfied with their schools' performance. Italy, where 8 per cent of those questioned rated education as a major concern, was the most worried nation on the subject after Britain.

In other ways, the responses of the British were closer to their European cousins. Both put unemployment at the top of their domestic concerns, with law and order rating second place in Britain and third place in Europe.

We are concerned about the European Union, poverty, and housing, whereas the overall survey worries about race relations and the environment.

The European list is also concerned about the sexual abuse of children and political and judicial corruption, partly as a result of the Belgian abuse scandal and its ramifications.

The aim of the survey was to provide research for a United Nations Population Fund project to raise awareness of global issues of population, reproductive health and development.

British concern about sexual health and information, both at home and globally, was half that of Europeans.

The top ten global concern both in Britain and Europe was war, with famine and environmentpollution in the top three. Poverty, population growth, unemployment, debt, drug abuse and trading and terrorism also featured on both lists, with Britain additionally concerned about religious fundamentalism and Europeans about the nuclear threat.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a TES/ TESS subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
 
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today