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The Role of Schools Essay

This Role of Schools essay question was recently in the IELTS exam.

It's about whether schools should be focused on ensuring children are responsible citizens and good workers or helping them develop as individuals.

Some people think that the main goal of schools should be making children into responsible citizens and good workers, rather than benefitting them as individuals.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Analysing the Question

Role of Schools

This essay questions is basically giving you two opposing opinions to consider:

  1. the main goal of schools should be making children into responsible citizens and good workers

  2. the main goal of schools should be benefitting them as individuals

With agree / disagree essays you can just focus on one side but this is an answer that discusses the pros and cons of each.

As noted in the previous essay about truthfulness in relationships, this question is worded in a way that shows you that you can compare the two aspects of it - "rather than" is the comparative phrase signalling this i.e. should we should do A rather than B?

Role of Schools Essay

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people think that the main goal of schools should be making children into responsible citizens and good workers, rather than benefitting them as individuals.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer

The role of schools in shaping the future generation has been a subject of debate for decades. While some argue that schools should primarily focus on moulding children into responsible citizens and productive workers, others claim that the individual development of students should take precedence. 

There is merit in the belief that schools should prioritise instilling qualities that contribute to aspects of citizenship and work. Good education plays a pivotal role in cultivating a sense of civic responsibility, fostering values such as honesty, empathy, and social awareness. Promoting these values is clearly desirable as they could perhaps reduce social issues, such as crime and anti-social behaviour. Moreover, a workforce consisting of diligent and productive individuals drives economic growth and prosperity, again an important benefit for all.

However, focusing solely on societal benefits neglects essential aspects of child development. Young children these days appear to be experiencing higher levels of mental health, such as depression and eating disorders, meaning it is critical to do what is necessary to help each child feel confident within themselves and able to cope with the world we live in today. Schools should, therefore, strive to create an environment that encourages self-discovery and personal growth. Furthermore, personal fulfilment leads to happier, more engaged citizens who are more likely to participate actively in society without schools having to specifically set out to achieve this.

In conclusion, while the goal of schools should indeed involve shaping responsible citizens and productive workers, this objective should not overshadow the significance of individual development. Balancing both aspects ensures that students not only contribute positively to society but also experience personal growth and fulfilment.

(270 Words)


This role of schools essay would achieve a high IELTS band score.

It would score well for Task Response as it clearly answers the question and in the case of this essay, considers both sides of the argument. Also, ideas are developed and explained and the essay has a clear opinion, which is consistent throughout.

Coherence and Cohesion are also very good as the message can be followed with ease, information is logically sequenced, and paragraphing is appropriate.

It has a wide range of high-level lexical resource, which is accurate and used flexibly. E.g.

  • shaping the future generation
  • take precedence
  • instilling qualities
  • plays a pivotal role
  • cultivating a sense of civic responsibility

Grammatical range and accuracy is also excellent, with grammar and punctuation used appropriately throughout.

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