British teenagers are among the least satisfied in the developed world.  Which is what makes them a very interesting market.

British teenagers are more highly motivated about their academic work than many of their contemporaries across Europe and the economically developed world.

Unfortunately they are also likely to have higher levels of anxiety than teens in other countries, more likely to be more anxious, more likely to bullied, and are (not surprisingly given the previous points) less satisfied with life in general than their peers around the world.

This combination of factors gives some insight into why teachers in Britain can have a harder time teaching than their colleagues in other countries.

Combine this with a freeze on education expenditure and we can understand why teachers are so keen for any help they can get in working with teenagers - including, of course, sponsored materials.

Anxiety levels are high in British classrooms with 72% admitting they feel anxious before taking a test, even if they are well prepared.  Combine that with the fact that over a quarter say they are regularly bullied and the scale of the problem is revealed.

What makes this such a potent cocktail is the fact that UK students are revealed as  highly ambitious and competitive at school.  Indeed 90% claim they want to be the best in whatever they do, compared with an average of 65% across the other countries surveyed.

UK students are also near the top of the list for internet use, with 25% of 15 year olds saying they spend six hours a day on the internet on a school day.  This figure has been rising in survey after survey - no one quite knows where it might end.

The global survey of half a million 15-year-olds, carried out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), comes at a time when there is growing concern about mental health issues among teenagers.

In the UK, while 42% of pupils polled expect to complete a university degree, less than a quarter of disadvantaged pupils expect to do so, compared with more than two-thirds of the most advantaged pupils.

Sadly young people in the UK experience lower than average life satisfaction. Just 28% describe themselves as very satisfied with their lives.  The average in the OECD is 34% although girls in both the UK and the rest of the world fare around 10 percentage points worse than boys.

Compared with this in the Netherlands fewer than 4% are dissatisfied with their life; in Korea and Turkey the figure rises to 20%.

One of the issues that has often been cited in the UK relating to good attainment is the eating of a good breakfast but 36% of 15-year-old girls and 22% of boys of the same age in the UK skip breakfast before school.  The OECD average is 26% among girls and 18% among boys.

Emily Frith, Director of mental health at the Education Policy Unit commented that, “The findings show UK pupils have lower than average levels of life satisfaction, high levels of anxiety in the classroom, and are more likely to be bullied, compared to children in other countries.

Clearly the well-being of young people is an issue.  Thus with school budgets under threat there is now every opportunity for companies to supply branded support materials for teachers to use with teenagers in school.

If you would like to discuss how this might be done please do call Schools.co.uk on 01604 880 927 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.