Good schools for everyone report

2,937 people and 8,398 votes

Good schools for everyone report

For the last month we’ve been inviting you to have your say on the future of schools in England so that your ideas can be included in the Department of Education’s policy proposals. We’re really pleased to say that your votes and ideas have have now been submitted to the department.

2,937 people
8,398 votes
602 people answered an average of 10 questions
110 people answered all 54 questions
108 new ideas and comments

Who took part?

The majority of participation was from England, although not all constituencies were represented. Majority of respondents were 15-45 years old.

Where did people answer from?

Of those who told us the role in which they were answering and how they were educated:

Quick recap: What did the government propose?

  • Allowing selective (grammar) schools to expand and new selective (grammar) schools to open, while making sure they support non-selective schools
  • Expecting independent (private) schools to support existing state schools, open new state schools or offer funded places to children whose families can’t afford to pay fees
  • Asking universities to commit to sponsoring or setting up new schools in exchange for the ability to charge higher fees
  • Allowing new faith free schools to select up to 100% of pupils based on their faith, while making sure they include pupils from different backgrounds

What did you say?

On good school places and the purpose of education:

  • 91% agreed that the education system should focus on equity of opportunity for children, above equality of opportunity.
  • 57% think the most important thing a school can do is create a sense of curiosity and help them be lifelong learners.
  • Twice as many people are satisfied with their local schools than are unsatisfied
  • People who didn’t receive extra tuition are 62.5% more likely to pay for tuition for their children
  • People agree that a choice of schools is a good way to deal with unsatisfactory local schools, but would rather schools were of a better quality
  • Education is too focused on academic metrics and should acknowledge the broader role of schools in a child’s / family’s life

Most respondents think that it is still who you know, not what you know and how well your parent are that determines success in life.

On grammar/selective schools

  • Most respondents don’t want to see grammar schools expanded, and many are against them in principle.
  • 78% believe that grammar schools increase separation in society
  • If a new grammar school isn’t good enough, opinions were mixed on what to do, with the largest majority (26%) thinking a school should become a comprehensive school
  • 53% think that schools should teach children of all abilities together (18% voted neutral)

On private/public schools

  • 88% agreed that private schools should help state schools
  • 72% think private schools should not have charitable status
  • 54% agree that charitable status should be removed if a private school didn’t help state schools
  • Only 2% of respondents thought that private schools should set up or sponsor a free or academy school, as a stand alone action.

On faith schools

  • 63% think the state should not fund faith schools, with 11% answering neutrally.
  • 84% agreed that faith schools should not be permitted to select students on grounds of their faith or the faith of their parent.
  • 40% think faith schools should be required to twin with a school of another faith or no faith, with 35% saying there should be no requirement to twin with another school.
  • 64% agreed that faith schools should be required to have someone of another faith on their governing body.
  • 65% agreed that all faith schools should be required to teach the same locally agreed religious education syllabus as non-faith schools

On university involvement with state schools

  • 74% think that universities have a lot to offer schools
  • 45% disagree that universities must support state schools in order to charge higher fees
  • Twice as many people (46%) agree that universities should have a more direct role in supporting state schools as those who disagree (23%).
  • If universities are to support schools it should be done in areas where schools need support, and in a way that lets the university choose how it can best help.

We shall keep you posted on the developments of the government’s proposals and as they move through to Parliament.

Next actions:

Kathryn Corrick

Digital communications strategist, teacher and open data specialist with an academic background in ethics. Kathryn has been working in and around the web and its impact on civic society for over 15 years, and is particularly interested in how the use of technology and data is changing culture, society, law and democracy.

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