Friday 12 May 2017

Exam season: Incentivising results?

A recent poll (of 1200 parents) from YouGov finds that 78% of parents have offered their children a reward for doing well in their exams this year, with the average spend at £205 and ranging from cash, holidays and days out to a new games console, laptops or tablet.

The poll also found that just over half of parents questioned said that their children expect rewards for getting good grades and more than a third of the parents questioned were happy to incentivise their children regardless of their eventual grade.

But do incentives it work? A recent study by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), of over 10,000 Year 11 pupils, found that financial or other benefits brought no significant overall impact on the pupil’s eventual GCSE English, maths or science results. The Foundation’s Chief Executive, Kevan Collins, commented (in the Times Education Supplement): “While promising cash for grades can seem like an easy way to motivate teenagers, our research suggests that it won’t have a huge impact on results.”

Mr Collins went on to suggest that parents and pupils would be better served by spending their money on high-quality one-to-one tutoring or improving feedback. Dean Associates are always happy to help with that!