Disciplined routine can help children to succeed at school

Jan 2012
Children raised with a structured routine perform better in school
Daily routines such as regular bedtimes help children to perform better at school.

New research has found that children raised in a daily and structured routine are likely to perform better at school and experience improved wellbeing overall.

The 2012 Youth Index from Prince's Trust showed that British children growing up with a lack of daily routine such as regular bedtimes and set meal times are more likely to have poorer grades.

The Trust carried out 2,136 interviews with 16-to-25-year-olds and concluded that more than a quarter of them (27%) didn't have a set bedtime while growing up � with this figure rising up to 39% among those respondents who left school with fewer than five A*-C grades at GCSE.

Furthermore, one in ten said that they lacked "structure and direction" while growing up, with those who possess lower school grades being more than twice as likely to claim this.

Figures also showed that 30% of younger Brits with poorer grades stated that they didn't have regular meal times, compared with only 14% of peers with higher school results.

"The absence of structure and routine in a young life can have a devastating impact. Without the right support, directionless teenagers can become lost young adults � unconfident, under-qualified and unemployed," said Martina Milburn, Chief Executive of youth charity The Prince's Trust.

Also according to that research, one in five young people (21%) feel that they didn't receive the support they needed at school, a percentage that almost doubles to 40% amongst those with poor grades.

The importance of a disciplined routine
A disciplined routine includes a wide range of considerations from a stable family life to an active physical condition, as well as specific timetables for bed and eating times. A structured routine can benefit a wide range of areas for a child, from their employment prospects to their relationships with friends or even their health.

Additionally, a recent report from YouGov found that 31% of young Brits said they felt down or depressed "always" or "often", with this figure increasing to 48% among those youngsters with fewer than five A*-C grade GCSEs.

"The results of the Youth Index over the past four years can often be linked to larger issues in the wider world. Last year's results showed the real-time effect the financial crisis had on young people and this year the research highlights an important link between educational attainment and wellbeing," commented Peter Kellner, President of YouGov.