ACT - The Association of Christian Teachers

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Pupils miss out on life skills.

Pupils miss out on life skills.

There is a big mismatch between pupil take-up of extra-curricular activities such as debating and volunteering in secondary schools – activities that could help develop the life skills regarded as essential by employers – and what teachers say their school is offering, according to a new report published by the Sutton Trust today.

Across secondary schools in England, 78% of secondary school teachers surveyed by the National Foundation for Education Research say their school offers volunteering programmes to build their pupils’ life skills, but just eight per cent of pupils aged 11-16 in England and Wales surveyed by Ipsos MORI say they take part in these sorts of extra-curricular activities.

Similarly, 45% of secondary teachers said their school provided debating, yet just two per cent of pupils report taking part. Almost two in five secondary pupils (37%) don’t take part in extra-curricular activities run by their school.

The new polling also finds there are big socio-economic gaps in access to extra-curricular activities, with pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds less likely to take up activities than their better off peers (46% compared to 66%).

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