Parents want combined technical and academic education, research shows

The TES is reporting new suggesting three-quarters of parents believe children should have the option of a combined academic and technical education at the age of 14.

The study reveals that more than half no longer see traditional educational routes such as GCSEs, A-levels and degrees as the best ways into work.

The findings are based on research undertaken by the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, an organisation that promotes university technical colleges (UTCs), which questioned more than 1,000 parents of 14- to 18-year-olds in mainstream schools.

According to the study, parents want a more “balanced approach” to education, and two-thirds of respondents said they were concerned their children would not find work after they left education.

The research also shows that nearly two-thirds of parents want more choice in the school system, while nearly seven in 10 said they wanted a technical education for their child if it reflected their talents. 

Currently 39 UTCs are open across the country, with an additional 55 expected to open by 2017… 

More at: Parents want combined technical and academic education, research shows


Obviously this is a survey to advance the cause of UTCs and, as the full article reminds us, they aren’t necessarily getting off to the best start at the moment. 

However, are you broadly sympathetic with the findings being reported? 

Please give us your reactions in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. Surprise, surprise.  A survey done by the Baker Dearing Trust which promotes UTCs finds parents are in support of an ‘option’ of technical/academic education at 14.  But the survey was promoted in a letter sent out by Sheffield UTC, would have been completed by self-selected participants and there was a chance to win a £100 voucher.  It’s unclear whether the poll was a representative sample or properly weighted.

  2. It appears the survey was just done by parents and carers of UTC pupils who would, of course, already be committed to 14/19 technical/academic education.  
    ‘As part of the campaign, Baker Dearing Educational Trust wants to survey UTC
    parents and carers to find out why you selected a UTC, how you made the decision
    and how you feel about the school options open to parents and carers.’

  3. Just discovered there were two polls – one for UTC parents and another for parents of pupils in mainstream ed.  According to the article below, 1000 parents of mainstream pupils completed the survey done by OnePoll.
    .The research for the Baker Dearing Educational Trust was carried out online by OnePoll between 13 / 08 / 2015 and 01 / 9 / 2015 amongst a panel resulting in 1,000 parents of children aged 14-18 in state school education.’

  4. OnePoll, which did the mainstream parents’ survey for Baker Dearing pays people to complete surveys which are then used to generate PR.  They promise you will ‘earn cash for your views’.  Presumably, the more of the daily dose of surveys you complete, the more money you earn.  Unsure how reliable this kind of survey is.

Let us know what you think...