England Schools Have Lowest Use Of Textbooks

Of a report carried out by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, based on a total of 50 countries, England have the lowest usage of textbooks, in comparison to anywhere else included in the survey.

Just one in ten students at the age of ten and one in twelve fourteen year olds have been presented with their own textbooks. According to Education minister Elizabeth Truss, teachers think that textbooks are too ‘old fashioned and regimented’. Miss Truss also feels that children are not being taught properly and are inundated with worksheets and ‘dog eared bits of paper’.

Unions are opposed to the education minister’s way of thinking and have combated her opinions by saying that a persistent ‘meddling’ in education has resulted in schools being reluctant to invest in text books. The head secretary at NASUWT has advised that due to a lack of stability in England’s education system compared to that in other countries, they cannot plan ahead with as much confidence.

This is a possible reason why England is falling behind in terms of education underneath countries such as South Korea and Germany, where usage of textbooks are at 99% and 86% respectively. Where they can rely on a stable education system, England’s lack of consistency means that other countries are surpassing our students academically.

The Education Minister believes that providing students with textbooks would be beneficial for children and parents, as it provides a guideline for what’s happening on their course. It also allows students to either read ahead or catch up if necessary. Miss Truss believes that because children aren’t being provided with a guide to their studies, England are falling behind educationally.

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