Britain baffled by education terms in school report

May 31, 2019

Half of Britain’s parents admit that they can’t understand their child’s school report, our study reveals. But don’t worry – help is available!

Parent speaking to Explore Learning tutor

We spoke to 2,000 parents who revealed that they find key education terms so baffling that they are confused by comprehension, can’t crack decoding and are flummoxed by phonetics.

64% of parents say they feel out of the loop when it comes to their child’s learning and changes in education, while nearly half (47%) of parents say they can’t make head nor tail of their child’s school report.  A massive 91% of parents feel that today’s teaching methods are unnecessarily complicated.

An astonishing 89% of British parents say that the way the education system has changed in recent years has confused them, with many not having a clue about certain education terms.

Just a quarter (28%) of parents say they know what the phonics screening check is, while nearly half (48%) say they don’t know what the SATs are, and over half (55%) aren’t clear on what comprehension is.

However, while parents appear confused by today’s school system, almost two thirds (62%) believe that the standard of education today is better than when they were young. The main reason for this is credited to better teachers with better training, more resources, and the fact that today there’s a bigger focus on children’s mental health.

Charlotte Gater, Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning says:

“It’s reassuring to see that the majority of parents believe that the education system is better than when they were growing up but it’s worrying to find so many in the dark around the national curriculum today. It’s hard enough helping them with their homework, let alone getting to grips with new academic terms and changes happening in the curriculum every few years.

With the final half term of the year upon us, now is the perfect opportunity for parents to get fully up to speed with everything for the next academic year. At Explore Learning we help parents through any changes and give them an outlet to turn to when they need support.”

Here is a list of the key terms that parents couldn’t understand – are there any that you’re not clear about?

  • Compensating
  • Digraph
  • Partitioning
  • Comprehension
  • Long multiplication
  • Phonics Screening Test
  • SATs
  • CATs
  • Key stages
  • National curriculum and school curriculum
  • Academisation
  • Number bonds

Bobby Seagull, star of University Challenge and a teacher at Little Ilford School says:

“Every term I meet with parents who seem incredibly confused about what’s going on in their children’s education. We take for granted that parents know and understand what’s going on in their children’s lives but often many are just too busy.

While parents don’t need to know everything about their children’s learning, it’s important they understand what’s going on – and how well their child is doing, in order to support them at home and help us as teachers as we work to bring out their full potential. Teachers work so incredibly hard and it’s fantastic to see parents crediting this as the reason why education has improved today compared with 20 years ago.”

Are you feeling confused? We can help you get up to speed before the next academic year and support you to understand what your child is learning.


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