Young teacher counting with pupils
Wednesday 05 October 2022
  •  A British Council survey to mark World Teachers’ Day (5 October) reveals that most parents surveyed in Wales (79%) agree that teachers play a significant role in society, and 66% of respondents in Wales agree that teachers have a significant influence in shaping the lives of children and young people
  •  Language learning is viewed as important by parents with more than three quarters (81%) of respondents in Wales (78% for the UK) agreeing it was beneficial for children to learn about different countries and cultures around the world
  • 68% of respondents in Wales (and the UK) believed it was important for children to learn other languages at school, with Spanish the most popular language of choice

New research commissioned by the British Council and conducted by OnePoll surveyed 2,500 parents of schoolchildren across the UK, between the ages of five and 16.

Conducted ahead of World Teachers’ Day (Wednesday 5 October), the poll asked parents a series of multiple-choice questions about the school curriculum, teachers, and how modern schools differed to their own.

According to the World Teachers’ Day survey, most respondents in Wales believe that teachers have a significant influence on shaping the lives of children and young people with 66% agreeing that their children’s teachers will have an impact on their future. Over three quarters (79%) of respondents also agree that teachers play an important role in society.

In Wales, however, almost half (47%) of parents surveyed think teachers today are under more pressure than they were when they were at school. Respondents felt that the biggest challenges facing teachers include lack of funding for schools (43%), poor behaviour in classrooms (47%), followed by children and young people’s mental health (33%).

The majority (81%) of parents surveyed in Wales, agreed it was beneficial for their children to learn about other countries and different cultures around the world, with 41% ‘strongly agreeing’.

More than two thirds of respondents in Wales (68%) thought it was important for children to learn another language at school, with 69% of parents selecting Spanish as the most important foreign language to learn in the future. French was the second highest at 64%, followed by German at 31%.

These findings align with results from the Language Trends Survey published in Wales in 2021, which reported a decline in the up-take for French and German in 2021, with a slight rise in GSCE entries for Spanish. The next Language Trends survey for Wales will be published next month.

Rebecca Gould, Acting Country Director for British Council Wales says:The World Teachers’ Day survey indicates that parents see language learning as a vital way to help children learn about other countries and cultures, this in turn will help equip young people for the future of work. In Wales, support for teachers is at the heart our work in education, from providing a wealth of resources in language learning to providing the opportunities to work with colleagues across the world.  We now have the powerful resource in Cerdd Laith, which is helping support and inspire the teaching and learning of foreign languages at primary school level”

Other results from the World Teachers Day survey include that 66% of respondents in Wales (versus 59% for whole of the UK) think personal finance and budget management should be taught in schools. The second most popular option in Wales as in the rest of the UK, was mental health awareness which was selected by 55% of respondents in Wales, followed by Internet/social media safety and awareness at 52%. Un-prompted lesson suggestions from parents included sign language and first-aid.

Notes to Editor

Each year, the British Council supports 15 million teachers and 100 million learners worldwide through its online courses and communities. In Wales, they bring an international dimension to teaching and learning in schools through international links, professional development opportunities, curriculum resources, classroom support and awards. Resources include - Cerdd Laith for primary schools.  In partnership with the Welsh Government, the Goethe Institute, Aberystwyth University and Ceredigion County Council, this resource helps pupils learn German, Spanish and Welsh using simple drama games and songs.

The British Council is the UK’s leading cultural relations organisation, creating global opportunities in arts and culture, education and the English language. For more information on current opportunities in Wales, visit follow on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.