Schoolchildren are more likely to be inspired by their own parents than celebrities, according to the results of a new survey.
Research carried out by educational training charity The Future Leaders Trust of 1,500 students led to the discovery that 34 per cent of school pupils are most inspired by their mums, while 22 per cent want to be like their dads when they grow up.
In contrast, just 6.4 per cent of young students said their biggest inspiration was Cristiano Ronaldo, who was the most-named celebrity in the poll.
Civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King was another famous inspiration for schoolchildren, with 5.7 per cent wanting to be like him in the future, closely followed by footballer Lionel Messi, who won 4.9 per cent of the vote. Meanwhile, 4.2 per cent of the school pupils questioned reported that Nelson Mandela was their idol.
These results indicate that while lots of children are indeed inspired by their footballing heroes or by key figures in history, they actually get most of their inspiration to do well in life from a source much closer to home.
With this in mind, The Future Leaders Trust is calling on teachers and educational authorities to build closer relationships with pupils' parents in order to gain a better insight into exactly what it is that inspires children so that educational programmes can be structured around these findings.
Ashley Hodges, chief executive officer at the charity Speakers for Schools, which arranges for inspirational people to visit schools, commented: "These survey results reaffirm an important fact about young people - real inspiration comes from the people in their lives.
"If we do not surround them with brilliant, varied people who can help inspire them for their futures, we aren't giving the next generation the best chance to achieve their potential."