Welsh folks are happier

9th April 2004 at 01:00
Parents in Wales appear to have more egalitarian views on education than families across the border.

Welsh parents were more likely to favour the abolition of league tables and testing at age seven. The finding is perhaps unsurprising as the Welsh Assembly has already scrapped both.

They are also significantly more likely to be opposed to grammar schools and specialist schools, possibly because neither exist in the principality.

Although most Welsh parents opposed league tables, around 41 per cent wanted them reintroduced.

The reintroduction of tests for seven-year-olds was far less popular, with only 15 per cent supporting the idea.

A report commissioned by the Welsh Assembly last year recommended that it should scrap tests for 14-year-olds. However, this would not be popular with parents: 67 per cent believed the tests should continue.

Overall, parents in Wales appeared slightly happier than in England with their child's school, with 6 per cent more describing themselves as "very happy". Researchers FD International said this was likely to be related to the fact that 99 per cent said their child attended their first-choice school.

The Welsh Assembly said it would not comment on parents' views on tests for 14-year-olds and that the poll stood by itself.

An Assembly spokeswoman said: "The only comment we would make is that we welcome feedback on parents' views and always consider their comments carefully."

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