Parents and teachers think education needs to change post-pandemic

According to research commissioned by the Edge Foundation, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on parents’ and teachers’ attitudes towards education.
In an online survey by YouGov, more than 1,000 parents and 500 teachers from across the UK were asked about how their attitudes had changed as a result of the pandemic.
Two thirds of parents (66%) agreed that teaching and education in the future need to change following the pandemic, and over three quarters of teachers surveyed (78%) agreed, rising to 84%% of younger teachers (aged 25-34).
More than nine in ten parents (92%) said they want education to help their children develop a range of skills like critical thinking, creative problem solving and communication. Nearly all (96%) teachers surveyed agreed that they wanted their pupils to develop a range of skills.
The Edge Foundation points out that employers value problem solving and team working and that they see so-called ‘softer skills’ as equally or more important than hard skills. However, the Edge Foundation says that government has continued to promote its old-fashioned approach of prioritising traditional academic subjects and rote learning to fulfil its EBacc and Progress 8 performance measures.
Given their recent experience during lockdown, both parents and teachers are also placing a renewed focus on the values our education system instils in young people. Nearly all teachers surveyed (96%) said that they want to help pupils develop values like kindness, empathy and community cohesion. More than eight out of ten parents (86%) agreed that they wanted their children’s education to do this.
Alice Barnard, Chief Executive, Edge Foundation says: “This pandemic has brought so many challenges in all of our personal and professional lives, but it has also caused us to step back and consider the future. These figures show clearly that teachers and parents are united in wanting to move forward - to a modern education system that, alongside an essential core of knowledge, helps young people develop the skills and attitudes they need for the future.

"We hope that the government will want to stand alongside parents, teachers and employers to consign their old-fashioned approach to history and create a once-in-a-generation transformation for our education system."

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