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Young people have their say about school

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Young people have their say about school


Wednesday, November 08, 2017 




Young people have their say about school

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone and Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton launched a new research report this week which allowed young people to have their say about school. 

Entitled ‘So, how was school today?’ the report is viewed as a ground breaking piece of research - the first of its kind, carried out by young people, for young people.

More than 3,200 young voices had their say in the Comhairle na nÓg research, which focused on the topic of Education.

Some of the findings under key areas were:

  • 75% of young people agreed or strongly agreed that they learned best through active learning such as quizzes, learning games and role play etc.
  • Young people feel that the subjects that need the most improvement are Mathematics, Irish, English, French, Science, History and Geography.
  • Just under half of young people feel they are 'satisfied' with the availability of career guidance in their schools.

Career Guidance, Counselling and Learning Support

Research question eleven asked students how satisfied they were with the availability and quality of career guidance in their school, with the availability of counselling/mental health supports and with the amount and quality of learning supports:

Career Guidance

In response to the question 'How satisfied are you with the availability of career guidance, 48% of young people who responded said that they are satisfied - 20% are 'very satisfied' with the availability of career guidance in their schools, whilst 28% are 'Quite satisfied'.

In response to the question 'How satisfied are you with the quality of career guidance, 44% of those who responded said that they are satisfied with the quality of career guidance - 17% of respondents are 'Very satisfied' with 27% saying they are 'Quite satisfied'.

Counselling and mental health supports

In response to the question 'How satisfied are you with the availability of counselling/mental health supports, 44% of young people who responded said that they are satisfied - 19% are 'very satisfied', whilst 25% are 'Quite satisfied'.

In response to the question 'How satisfied are you with the quality of counselling/mental health supports, 41% of those who responded said that they are satisfied - 17% are 'Very satisfied' with 24% saying they are 'Quite satisfied'.

Learning Support

In response to the question 'How satisfied are you with the amount of learning support', 51% of young people who responded said that they are satisfied - 18% are 'very satisfied', whilst 33% are 'Quite satisfied'.

In response to the question 'How satisfied are you with the quality of of learning support, 49% of those who responded said that they are satisfied - 18% are 'Very satisfied' with 31% saying they are 'Quite satisfied'.

However, the report does not show a breakdown of the findings for the the other three response categories provided (Not Sure; A bit unsatisfied; Very unsatisfied).

Speaking at the launch of the report, Minister Zappone said: "Young people must have their say in policies, decisions and practices which impact on their daily lives. School is a huge part of their day and their voices must be heard and acted upon. This report proves that there are changes which need to happen in the Education system. It is really important for young people, teachers and government parties to study and respond to this extensive piece of research as it explains what young people need, and want to change, to make their journey through education better."

Minister Bruton added: I am keen during my time as Minister for Education and Skills, to ensure the voices of students and parents are heard within our education system. I have set the ambition to make Ireland’s education system the best in Europe within a decade and our young people provide an invaluable perspective into how we can achieve that goal. The results of this survey will feed into a growing body of research providing insight into the student experience and will most definitely lead to better outcomes for all. Indeed I have taken on board some of the points raised already. Student wellbeing for example, is a key priority of mine as Minister and we have introduced a new Wellbeing programme this year for Junior Cycle to provide students with the necessary coping skills to manage stress in their lives. We are also developing new Maths curricula at primary level and for junior cycle. The junior cycle reform brought in for the first time last year puts more of a focus on project work and team work and less emphasis on exams.

The full research report is available here.

The CareersPortal Team