Buckingham Palace with crowds on the Mall

As our schools reassemble after the long summer break, we can look at attitudes towards parents’ choice of school to send their children to.  A recent study conducted in 2016 among 1,000 parents for HCSS Education found 67% agreeing that parents should have the basic right to choose their childrens’ schools.

But as shown in the AMSR Archive, a MORI ‘Teachers’ Omnibus Survey’ conducted in 2005 among 477 secondary school teachers in England and Wales for the Sutton Trust found:

  • Only 31% agreeing that “school choice is a reality for most parents”
  • Only 31% agreeing that “school choice has improved school standards”, and
  • Only 41% agreeing “the current system of admissions to secondary schools operates fairly”.



This survey also examined teachers’ attitudes to the growth of academies, with results accessible on the AMSR website.

Back in 2005, 53% of teachers agreed that “academies are an appropriate way of raising standards of education”. But among British adults from 2011 to 2016, support for the existing academies declined from 40% to 25%.

Confirming the downward trend in support for more academies, in 2016 a YouGov survey of 8259 teachers found only 17% thought that turning more schools into academies will make educational standards better, while 48% thought it would make them worse.

Part of the problem seems to lie in the lack of knowledge and understanding among parents: the recent HCSS survey in 2016 found that only 42% of them understood what an academy is, and its benefits.

Contributed by Peter Bartram


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