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The homeschooling battle: parents report lack of motivation in new survey

23 July, 2020

More than half of British children struggled with home learning during lockdown, according to a new survey.

Three in four parents gave lack of motivation as one of the reasons for their child struggling, the research by The Office for National Statistics found.

The report comes after leading psychologists warned of a “national disaster” if children were not sent back to school in September.

Schools across the UK were closed to most pupils on 20 March, in order to minimise the spread of the virus, with organisations worldwide rallying to continue children’s education from home.

The BBC, in particular, channelled a huge amount of effort into providing homeschooling support – with record numbers flocking to its resources during lockdown.

Despite this, 43 per cent of parents agreed that homeschooling was negatively affecting the wellbeing of their children. Lack of guidance was also reported as a common problem.

The education gap was reflected in single parent households, with 21 per cent agreeing that their child struggled due to device accessibility. The government’s scheme to supply free laptops to disadvantaged children has been scrutinised in the past, with teachers saying the effects of it would be “limited”.

Lack of motivation remains the biggest issue, though. When asked directly, more than 50 per cent of older children agreed that it was affecting their studies, and almost two thirds of these thought that continuing their education at home would negatively affect their future life plans.

Even though the government has announced a delay to 2021 exams to compensate for teaching time, the figures highlight the growing concern among older pupils.

More than 12,000 people in Great Britain took part in the survey between 3 April and 7 June. You can find further homeschooling guidance on the Parent Zone website, including our list of 22 summer learning resources your children will love.

Image: Catherine/


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