WISERD Education’s most interesting findings

For the last six years, WISERD Education have been giving surveys about their lives to over a thousand children (8-18) across Wales every year. Here are some of our most interesting findings about children in Wales:

1. Girls are better than boys at school, but are less happy
While girls tend to do better academically, they are also more anxious. In 2014, 25% of girls, compared to 16% of boys said that they felt worried at school.

2. They are more likely to hear sexism and racism at school than in their local areas
In 2017 we found that children were much more likely to hear racist language (55%) and sexist language (61%) at school than in their local area (43%).

3.  Private tutoring is less prevalent in Wales than in England
However, it is still high for subjects such as Maths, where one in ten students reported having a private tutor.

4. They think that the scenery and landscape are the best things about living in Wales
These were followed closely by people and community. The worst things were the weather and perceived lack of opportunities.

5. Their sleep is disrupted by social media
Just under a quarter of 12-15 year olds wake up to check social media most nights. Unsurprisingly, those who did this were far more likely to report being tired the next day.

6. Over a quarter think they will have to leave Wales to get a job
There was also a lot of ambivalence around whether they wanted to stay in Wales, with around half of students not indicating any preference either way.

7. Support for votes at 16 has grown following Brexit
Until 2017, pupils over 16 tended to be opposed to votes at 16. However, after the referendum they started supporting the lower voting age, telling us that the referendum result was ‘unfair’ as they hadn’t had a say.

8. Give them a million pounds each and a quarter of them would give it away
A further 25% said that they would give at least some of it away, and 14% told us that they that they would save it all. Only 36% would spend most of it.

9. Climate change and poverty are as much of a threat as terrorism for many
Younger children tended to report terrorism as their number one fear, whereas older children were more likely to select climate change and poverty as major concerns.

10. They value the Welsh language, but are less keen on learning it themselves
In 2013, nearly three-quarters of children told us that it was important for Welsh to remain a living language, although fewer pupils (65%) stated that it was important for them to learn it.