According to a worldwide study on student happiness by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 3.6% of UK students gave their life satisfaction a score of 0 – representing ‘not at all satisfied’ – the lowest of any OECD country except for Turkey on 8.2%. This study is a great example of the problem that lies in the educational system in the UK. While Britain is nowhere near the bottom of the pile when it comes to education, the system is still flawed to its core. So, why is the education system struggling? What can we do to improve it?
An unequal educational system
Britain’s education is torn between a very good private education and a poor state one, so those who can afford to pay for a good education, and those who don’t get the education they deserve.
Education is supposed to open doors and not close them; no children should be disadvantaged because their parents cannot afford to pay for their children’s education. Indeed, private school has been shown to offer a better range of classes (art, drama, sports, music) with a smaller class size and student-to-teacher ratios, offering the students the attention and academic support they need to learn and grow. It has been shown that private schools often have a better reputation in global higher education institutions, with many schools boasting a 100 percent rate of students attending their first-choice university… These schools also offer a wide range of resources, amazing equipment and facilities to their students.
How can we improve state school?
State schools are not all bad or offer a poor education, you can be successful and well-balanced individual from attending a state school but there is a lot that needs to be done to improve it. We see innovations, teachers and educational professionals trying to find solutions to improve the system. A great example is The Schools and Academies Show in Birmingham offering insights into the UK curriculum, mental health, sex education but also exhibiting some key education suppliers such as Allied Fleet, specialists in market-leading wheelchair accessible cars and minibuses.
It is essential to get rid of or replace poorly trained staff and teachers with the introduction of high-quality in-service training programmes. Studies over many years have shown that the quality of teaching makes the most difference.
Giving extra care and attention to students before the age of 10 seems to make a big difference. Too often, secondary schools place insufficient importance on the younger groups, failing in assessing work, setting homework and managing classes. Introducing a lot more hours of music and art has also been proven to help with children’s reading, writing and even mathematics.
The educational system in the UK has a lot to learn from it’s Scandinavian neighbours but we can see improvements thanks to a better understanding of children’s needs and a strong will to improve their lives.