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Pupils 'say no to teachers' pets'

04/08/2009 Joanna
Teenagers in the UK are more likely to believe that secondary school staff have favourites than those elsewhere in Europe, says a new survey.

Researchers from the University of Birmingham found that of the 14,000 teenagers surveyed, British pupils were most likely to say that their teachers had pets.

Boys and girls were equally likely to say their teachers had favourites, said Stephen Gorard, professor of education at the University of Birmingham.

Professor Gorard said that the same was also true for students from wealthy or more deprived backgrounds.

But Jane Lees, president of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the findings displayed "normal teenage angst".

"I don't think teachers in England need to be worried about this," she added.

A statement released last week by the advice service Childline said that increasing numbers of boys are asking for support.

According to the charity, having someone to talk to at school could play a valuable role in building pupils' self-confidence.

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