IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE centre seeks to shape its vision through consultation with children and parents

25 February 2019

UCL Institute of Education’s (IOE) Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy (HHCP) has been asking children, parents and carers to shape its work through consultative seminars.

Man with child in nursery

Having previously reached out to teachers, researchers and policy makers, this consultation event aimed to find out children’s views on their education and how their schooling might be improved, as well as parents and carers’ opinions on children’s education.

The outreach consultation sessions were held primarily in rural, semi-urban and urban neighbourhoods in the north and south of England, most of which identified as amongst the most deprived, according to national data. The consultations with parents of young children highlighted their concern to ensure their children were happy, healthy and confident, and that they enjoy life both at home and at school.

Key themes for parents and carers that came out of the meeting included children’s safety and security, both outside and online, children’s physical and mental health, the affordability and quality of childcare as well as their children’s futures. In particular, there was concern about the environment and impact of pollution on their children’s future lives.

Children highlighted the importance of being happy and having fun, as well as the value of teachers who made them feel at ease and good about themselves. Other themes included the importance of playing and working together with other people, greater use of technology in the classroom and more staff in class to support their learning. 

Children associated sitting and working in class with no movement or interaction with feeling confined, bored, tired and unhappy. They welcomed opportunities for more choice in what they learn, how they are taught, including more collaborative learning, fun, projects and trips.