YOUNG VOICES

Many Adults Consider Themselves 'Loners' At School, Finds Survey

09/08/2013 09:23 BST | Updated 09/08/2013 09:26 BST

It is said they are the best days of your life, but a new survey suggests that very few people thought they were popular at school.

Adults are more likely to look back and describe their school-age self as a loner than one of the "cool kids", according to a poll.

It also suggests that RE is seen as the least useful subject to learn, and that for most people, the height of naughtiness was to skip school or not do their homework.

The survey asked more than 1,800 people who went to secondary school in the UK to list up to three school stereotypes they thought applied to them.

Almost one in five (19%) said they would describe themselves as a "loner", while one in six said "cool or popular kid".

"Sporty" was picked by 14%, while just under one in 10 (9%) said they were a "geek" and the same proportion chose "class clown".

Asked which subject they thought was the least beneficial to their education, just over one in five (21%) said religious education. This was followed by art (chosen by 16%) and PE (10%).

The survey also asked people to list up to three of the most disobedient things they did at school.

The most popular answer was "not doing homework", picked by just over a third (36%), followed by skipping lessons (30%) and being late for school (23%).

Among other answers, some 17% admitted to smoking, seven per cent revealed they had forged a parent's signature, five per cent said they had drunk alcohol and three per cent admitted cheating in exams.

James Endersby, managing director of Opinium Research, which conducted the survey said: "Whether you were a loner or a class clown most of us have fond memories of our school days. Recollections of secondary school often centre on the mischief of the playground and the pranks that many of us may have been at the receiving end of as kids. For some these memories are much stronger than anything they were ever taught in the classroom!"

The poll, carried out between July 12-16, questioned 1,844 adults who attended UK secondary schools.