Coronavirus: Most children struggled to learn at home during lockdown, survey finds | UK News

Coronavirus: Most children struggled to learn at home during lockdown, survey finds | UK News

More than half of pupils struggled to learn at home during lockdown, according to a survey.

Parents blamed a lack of guidance, support and motivation for their difficulties with home schooling, Office for National Statistics (ONS) research found.

Parents were also more likely to teach their children in the afternoons as they juggled the daily routine with other commitments, such as working from home.

Researchers for the ONS carried out surveys of more than 12,000 people in the UK between 3 April and 7 June about their experiences of home schooling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Most schools in the UK closed at the end of March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Some schools remained open for children of NHS staff and key workers and for vulnerable pupils, while more pupils were allowed to return to schools in England and Wales last month.

The ONS found that of the 52% of parents who thought their child had struggled with their education at home, 77% said a lack of motivation was a key factor while 43% blamed the absence of any guidance or support.

Of parents who were teaching their children at home, 34% of women said it was negatively affecting their own well-being, compared with 20% of men.

And 43% of parents thought being at home rather than learning at school was having a negative impact on the well-being of their child.

On average, parents of children aged five to 10 said their child was doing about 10 hours of schooling every week, rising to 16 hours for those aged 11 to 15.

Just 13% of children aged five to 10 had accessed live online school lessons – but this figure rose to 44% for pupils aged 16 to 18.

The research found that women did around two-thirds more of the childcare duties per day than men.

Hugh Stickland, from the ONS, said: “Exploring people’s experiences during these past challenging months, we have continually seen that not everyone’s experience is the same. This is true for parents.

“The age of the children, especially, makes a big difference to their experience and, of course, if there is another adult with whom to share the additional work and responsibilities of life under lockdown.”

The government wants pupils in all year groups in England back at school in September, while Scotland and Northern Ireland would like a full return of children when the new term begins.

Ministers in Wales have said a mix of home and classroom education would be likely for some time to come.

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