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IPAD TUTORING, SOCIAL MEDIA LESSONS AND … LAPS OF THE PLAYGROUND: THE SURPRISING WAYS SCHOOLS WOULD CHANGE IF KIDS WERE IN CHARGE

29 Sep, 2015

• Survey of ‘child headmasters’ shows kids want blogging classes
• Draconian punishments for bullies
• Kellogg’s poll reveals kids want breakfast clubs for all

Schoolchildren want unconventional classes on how to use iPads, Instagram and Snapchat, according to a new survey.

The poll of 1,000 schoolchildren for Kellogg’s upcoming Breakfast Club Awards asked what they would do if they were headteachers, and the results painted a picture of a starkly modern regime with clear behavioural boundaries.

More than a third of children (36%) would enforce lessons in looking after money, beating iPad instruction (34% would introduce) and social media classes (27.5%) as the top choice for best new lesson. Blogging (17%) and using the internet safely (23%) were also high on the list. Less popular were British history (12%) and knitting (7%).

But when it came to punishments, the child headmasters took a step back in time.

Some 30% said they’d punish people by making them run laps of the schoolyard, while a fifth would demand old-fashioned lines of poorly behaved pupils. Only 8% said they’d be lenient and simply ask their former schoolmates to try to behave better. A third would even give teachers detention if they misbehaved.

Among the things they’d ban under their rule would be bullies (72% would ban), mobile phones (24%) and selfies (23%).

However, there was one part of the school day where the kids displayed a more sympathetic attitude: morning breakfast clubs.

More than eight out of ten (84%) said they’d let everyone sit down together and have breakfast with their friends before they started the school day, with 29% saying they’d learn far better if they weren’t feeling hungry.

Matthew Burton, otherwise known as ‘Mr Burton’ from Channel 4’s Educating Yorkshire, said: “I strongly believe that education must move with the times so I’m delighted to see that children want to prepare themselves for the 21st century by embracing new digital and social media skills.

“Teachers across the UK really understand the importance of Breakfast Clubs and it’s positive to see that young people recognise this too.”

Gwyneth Powell, who played headmistress Mrs McCluskey in Grange Hill, said: “Back in the glory days of Grange Hill, schools were very different. There were no mobile phones or selfies, and when it came down to discipline we were tough on pupils. So it’s really interesting to see that modern kids are looking to return to these golden days of education.”

In another surprising decision from the child headmasters, only a quarter would get rid of school uniform, though just 5% wanted to wear robes like Harry Potter.                                                                                    

Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams proved the most popular celebrity headmaster (24.5%). He and fellow author JK Rowling (15.6%) beat vlogger Zoella (7.5%), Harry Styles of One Direction (10%) and Katy Perry (8%).

Kellogg’s Breakfast Club Awards spokeswoman Alison Last said: “It seems today’s children are taking their education very seriously, but it’s great that they’re also up for having fun with their friends at a breakfast club.

“This year we’re asking schools to nominate their club for our Breakfast Club Awards, which hope to find the best clubs in the country.”

Kellogg’s supports 2,500 breakfast clubs across the UK with training, cereal donations and funding so that schools can run a sustainable pre-school club.

Kellogg’s started its breakfast club programme in 1998 when there were barely any breakfast clubs in the UK. Today, 85 per cent of schools now run a club.

For more information on Kellogg’s Breakfast Club Awards or to enter visit www.kellogg.co.uk/breakfastclubawards


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