More than four-fifths (92%) of the British public believe politics should be taught as part of the compulsory school curriculum.
A subject which is constantly talked about, and one we are heavily involved with, is whether Politics should be taught at school. So, we decided to find out just how many people thought that making Politics a compulsory school subject would be a good idea. We surveyed more than 2,000 members of the British public and found that more than four-fifths (92%) believe politics should be taught as part of the compulsory school curriculum. Nearly three-fifths (57%) also said they think Religious Education should be replaced by Politics at secondary school.
The survey also revealed that more than three quarters (78%) of participants felt they left school with little to no political knowledge — and more than four-fifths (84%) stated most of what they knew had to be learnt from sources outside of education, such as family and the internet.
When asked the question: ‘do you think having knowledge of British politics would have helped you after leaving school?’, more than three-quarters (77%) of respondents answered yes, whilst more than half (59%) said they had ‘very little knowledge on political processes’, when they voted for the first time.
Less than two-fifths (36%) of respondents between the ages of 18 and 25 said they understood how the voting system worked, and more than half (58%) said they had previously mixed up voting for a local MP with voting for the Prime Ministerial Candidate in a general election.
Of the people asked, more than four-fifths (81%) thought politics should be a compulsory subject at secondary school level, and then an optional subject at GCSE and A-Level.
More than three quarters (79%) of participants also said their main reason for choosing Religious Education as the subject to be replaced was that it was ‘outdated’ and did not have ‘real world benefits’ to students. On top of this more than half (53%) of respondents voted Geography as the second subject they would replace Politics with.
Of the participants who didn’t think Politics should be taught at secondary schools, the majority stated the reason of ‘Children being too young to take political information on board’.
Founder of Shout Out UK, Matteo Bergamini, said:
‘I’m thrilled to see that the majority of the British public think politics should be compulsory at school. I personally believe that it is the education system’s duty to equip our young adults with a solid foundation of knowledge to go out into the world with, and I think they do this well with other subjects. However, the fact politics has been overlooked as a compulsory area of learning, despite its real-world significance, is baffling.
‘How can we expect the young people of this country to engage with the system in the long run when not even half know how the voting system works? People talk about the disconnect between young people and politics in the UK — I think that teaching it in schools is the first big step towards fixing this.
‘It is also fantastic to see that three-fifths of Brits believe Politics should replace Religious Studies in schools. Religion has shaped our country and deserves a place in the curriculum as part of history, but not as a stand alone subject. There are far more important things to learn, like how our democracy works’.