Apparently achieving top grades isn’t enough to make A-level students work hard – parents offer them all sorts of expensive incentives, and boys get more than girls.
Over a third of teenagers are offered a financial incentive for doing well in their exams, the Telegraph reports.
According to a survey of 1,000 commissioned by Leeds Metropolitan University, 11% have been offered a car and more than one in 10 have been offered a holiday or a laptop.
Hard cash is always popular, with some sixth formers being offered up to £2,000 for an A*, though £100 is more typical. Male students do better than their female peers, with boys being offered £184 on average and their female peers trailing £60 behind them, at £124. Boys are also more likely to be incentivised – 66% compared to 58%.
Psychologist Divine Charura from Leeds Met commented on the psychology of incentives: “In terms of a social context, these results show how much pressure is being placed on students by parents. You have to ask yourself what happens if a student doesn’t then deliver on his or her results? What happens if the incentive is no longer given, and at what point does the incentive stop? As a parent, if you give your child money, it can be a good motivator, but on the other hand, does getting these incentives stop us as human beings from doing things for altruistic reasons, such as voluntary work or simply doing things for ourselves?”
However, parents aren’t the only ones offering students incentives for high grades; universities have also been promising help with living costs, discounts on fees, sports club membership and laptops to attract the high flyers!
Are you aware of pupils being offered incentives – and if so do they work? If you’re a parent, have you offered your offspring incentives, and if so, what?