Majority of secondary parents have enjoyed home education

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

Many parents of secondary school students say they are enjoying this period of home education, reporting that children are under less stress and can learn at their own pace.

A survey of more than 2,000 parents of secondary-aged pupils found that four in five said they preferred having their children at home every day.

Furthermore, 59 per cent report that their children prefer learning remotely to being in school.

The poll has been commissioned by the Valenture Institute – an online high school, and finds that respite from bullying is one main factor influencing parents’ attitudes to home education.

A quarter of the respondents said that their children had been bullied in school, with many feeling the issue had never been properly dealt with.

Other positives about online learning identified by the parents in the survey include the less stressful home learning environment and allowing children to learn at their own pace.

Two-fifths of the parents said that children feel under less duress to look and dress in a certain way every day and a third believe there is less pressure to “get the answers right” in front of class mates.

However, parents also said that their biggest concerns about the coronavirus lockdown are children missing their friends and missing out on face-to-face interactions in school.

When asked about how their school delivered home learning, 61 per cent said they felt the “lessons” did not involve enough interaction with teachers or other students. Other common complaints were:

  • A lack of teacher feedback (37 per cent).
  • Non-existent online teaching support (24 per cent).
  • A lack of organisation (22 per cent).

Around 15 per cent of the parents admitted that they have paid for extra tuition during the lockdown, at an average cost of £84 a week, per child. This would amount to £57 million a week across the country.

Rick Greener, headteacher at Valenture Institute, said: “Covid-19 will undoubtedly change the way we think about remote and online learning forever. What we are seeing now is that the children who are learning best and are most enthused about the situation are those having timetabled lessons that have been designed and created specifically to exist online, with regular input and feedback from their teachers.”

One parent Clare Woolf from north London told the researchers that her 13-year-old son was “missing his friends terribly”. However, she added: “On the upside, he’s definitely a happier person generally since he started to learn from home.

“He’s had more praise from teachers in the past two months than he managed to get in the past two years. And the other night he said that if online learning and still being able to see his mates was an option then that’s what he’d love to be doing in the future. We’ll have to see what schools think they’ll be able to offer from September.”


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