Revealed: How Scotland's education system could be improved

A new survey has revealed where Scots think our education system is falling short.

Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 4:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:52 pm

500 people in Scotland were asked by school locker manufacturer Action Storage for their insight on where schools could be improved most.

In the wake of Britain’s record-breaking performance at the Rio 2016 Olympics, 41% of Scots believe new health and fitness programmes could mark a step in the right direction for our schools.

For 37% of Scots, empowering teachers is the answer to improving our education system – and 50% of voters aged 35-44 are convinced this is the case.

New schools of thought

Many Scots put stock in students’ progress – calling for simpler exams (27%) and more frequent updates for parents (18%) – while other respondents recommended investing more in new equipment (36%) and anti-theft measures (9%).

The British government came under fire, with 44% of women – and 60% of respondents aged 45-54 – pushing for further funding.

This call for increased government funding comes shortly after Jeremy Corbyn’s outline for a national education service, designed to offer learning opportunities at every stage of life and close the growing productivity gap.

32% of respondents said schools could do more to motivate children, while 67% of 35-44 year olds believe this is an area for significant improvement.

Education through empowerment

According to the BBC, this year’s Pride Glasgow festival included a drive for schools to educate children on LGBTI issues – and 28% of the Scottish public agree that tackling discrimination and bullying should be a key focus going forward.

40% of 18-24 year olds said anti-bullying initiatives should be priority number one, making this the greatest concern among Generation Y.

27% of all participants thought schools should rethink the way they deal with bad behaviour, as did a substantial 60% of 18-24 year olds.

One resounding outcome of the survey saw Scots push for more power to be placed in the hands of both teachers and their pupils.

27% of people surveyed thought reducing head teachers’ workloads could offer a solution – freeing them up to invest in school development, rather than spending time on day-to-day administrative duties.

Extracurricular activity

The survey also revealed an interest in more sustainable schools, as 18% of Scots expressed the importance of an eco-friendly approach.

Some respondents offered their own two cents on where schools could be most improved – with alternative answers including reducing class sizes and treating children as individuals.

Topline results:

Respondents were allowed to select multiple answers to the following question:

In which of the following areas do you think schools could be improved most?

Implementing health and fitness programmes: 40.9%

Empowering teachers: 36.9%

Investing in new equipment: 36.4%

Increased government funding: 36.2%

Motivating children: 31.8%

Simplifying the exam process: 27.1%

Tackling bullying: 27.7%

Dealing with bad behaviour: 27.4%

Freeing up head teachers to invest in school development: 27.3%

Adopting an environmentally friendly approach: 18.2%

Updating parents on their children’s progress: 18.0%

Preventing theft on school premises: 9.4%

Other: 9.1%