A recent study conducted by education tech firm RM Technology has revealed that a majority of teachers believe students are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications to complete their assignments. The survey, involving 500 secondary school teachers, showed that two-thirds of them believe they frequently receive work written by AI, with around 9% admitting they can’t distinguish between work completed by students and AI programmes.

The research also unveiled that 41% of teachers feel that better regulation of AI is necessary, while 31% believe government intervention is required to oversee its use. Mel Parker, a former headteacher now working as a consultant for RM Technology, emphasised the need for government regulation, particularly from a safeguarding perspective.

Teachers expressed concerns that students could utilize AI to cheat on their assignments, and more than a third of teachers admitted that students often possess a better understanding of AI than they do. The lack of proper training for educators on rapidly developing technologies like AI has led to uncertainties about how to address its use in classrooms.

The survey results also showed contrasting perspectives from students. In a separate survey of pupils, 68% believed that AI was helping them achieve better grades, while 49% believed that excluding AI from their learning process would have a negative impact.

While some students appreciate the convenience and accessibility of AI for learning and assistance, others are cautious about the potential drawbacks, such as reduced social interaction and reliance on immediate answers rather than critical thinking.

Online safety concerns were also highlighted, as more pupils are using programmes driven by AI that they understand better than adults. Digital safeguarding consultant Charlotte Ainsley emphasised the need for government regulation to avoid repeating issues that arose with social media platforms.

A government spokesperson acknowledged the potential of AI to transform education and highlighted ongoing efforts to establish a regulatory framework for AI in the UK. The goal is to ensure that AI innovation is safe and responsible.