Research published today reveals that three quarters of parents in the West Midlands believe schools are not doing enough to prepare young people for real life events. More than half also demand that lessons about death, finances and sex should be a priority - even if at the expense of traditional lessons such as algebra and poetry.

New research has found that only 28% of parents in the region think schools are currently doing enough to ready students for life experiences, with as many as 52% revealing that they think schools should cover death, bereavement and grief as part of the curriculum.

A further two thirds (65%) value personal finance lessons and more than half (52%) say that sex education has a valid place on the syllabus.

The survey was conducted by Project Eileen, a new charity working to advance the education of young people and wider school communities about death and grief, supporting positive mental health and helping teachers and schools manage difficult and sensitive situations. The data also showed that life skills and preparing young people for life events are now favoured over more traditional lessons, with fewer than half of parents in the West Midlands saying woodwork (36%), algebra (28%), geology (28%) and poetry (32%) should be taught in schools.

Founder and CEO of Project Eileen, Louise Poffley, said: “We firmly believe that education should cover every aspect of life - death included - to build resilience and benefit mental health.

“We provide a readymade resource for schools to use to benefit not only the young people taking part in the programme, but also parents and teachers who often face the burden of having to cover these sensitive topics. Death and grief are subjects often only covered in response to a tragic situation.

“At Project Eileen, however, we are passionate about making this conversation a proactive one and ensure we are preparing people for what is undoubtedly a certainty in life.”