Prince's Trust: School grades hit by lack of routine

Bedtime story A set bedtime can help give a child structure

Related Stories

Children who grow up without a daily routine of set bedtimes and mealtimes do worse at school, a report suggests.

Research for the Prince's Trust suggests those with poor exam grades are twice as likely to claim their days lacked structure as they grew up.

The study of 2,136 16- to 25-year-olds found more than a quarter did not have a set bedtime while growing up.

Youngsters with poorer grades were also twice as likely to say they did not have regular mealtimes.

Some 14% of young people said they had grown up without set mealtimes, compared with 30% of those with poor exam grades.

The research also suggests that 27% of youngsters did not grow up with a set bedtime. This rose to 39% for those who left school with fewer than five good GCSEs.

'Less confident'

The data comes from the charity's latest annual Youth Index, which looks at how young people feel about their lives across a range of areas from family life to physical health.

It also suggested those who felt they "lacked structure and direction" while growing up also appeared to be less content and confident than their peers.

One in three of those with lower qualifications (33%) said they "always" or "often" felt rejected, compared with about one in five young people (22%) overall.

Princes Trust chief executive Martina Milburn said: "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, underqualified and unemployed."


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 214.

    I am a primary school teacher in an Inner City area. A large proportion of children have no breakfast before school, some even arrive not having had a drink. The same group of children look exhausted and quite often go to bed far later than I do. Unsurprisingly, these children dont do so well. Yet the govt still expects these children to do as well as those in wealthier more structured households!

  • rate this

    Comment number 213.

    My wife and I raised our 3 sons with a reasonably fixed routine, it consisted of specific mealtimes (taken together) fixed bed times, rigid school attendance, plenty of family time spent in the outdoors. We gave them our attention, encouraged thought, discouraged herd instinct & following fashion. They're 3 well adjusted, clear thinking people who have respect for their fellow humanity. Simple.

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

    Set mealtimes and bedtimes alone is probably not the reason for better grades but rather an indication of better parenting. I don't believe for a moment that conformity to a strict regimes will greatly affect a growing child's future for success or employment. Responsible parenting, parental guidance, and the societal education found in cohesive families plays a much greater role.

  • rate this

    Comment number 154.

    Changes to television schedules haven't helped. My routine 30-35 years ago was bed-time at 9pm when the News started. As I got older and more interested in it, I watched the News and then bedtime was 9.30pm TV was better structured and more regular during the week which made routine much easier. Now the schedules are much more random.

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    It is not the presence of a routine alone that helps kids (although I don't doubt it does) it is where that comes from and what it provides. Kids can cope with flexible routines and change where necessary if they fell secure and loved and are kept informed.
    In general the presence of a routine is just an indication of a stable home-life where the kids welfare is put first.


Comments 5 of 11


More Education & Family stories


Features & Analysis

  • Dana Lone HillDana Lone Hill

    The Native American names that break Facebook rules

  • Painting from Rothschild collectionDark arts Watch

    The 50-year fight to recover paintings looted by the Nazis

  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Signposts showing the US and UK flagsAn ocean apart

    How British misunderstanding of the US is growing

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • StudentsBull market

    Employers are snapping up students with this desirable degree


  • 3D model of Christ the Redeemer statueClick Watch

    Using drones to 3D map the famous Brazilian landmark Christ the Redeemer

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.