Educational nightmare as parents fear their child will always be behind

Nearly half of parents think their children’s education will always be behind following months of disruption caused by coronavirus.

A study of 2,000 mums and dads revealed they think it will take at least three weeks on average before their child is fully settled back into the school routine.

A further two in five are worried about their youngster adjusting to the daily routine again after almost six months away from school. While 19 per cent think they will struggle with motivation, and a third are expecting their child to be exhausted upon their return to education in September.

Worryingly, more than one in 10 mums and dads fear it could take up to six weeks for their child to fully settle back into school – half an entire term.

The research, which was commissioned by Collins, also found 31 per cent of parents feel apprehensive and nervous about their child going back to school.

But despite their fears, a quarter also feel positive about September and 22 per cent are excited to see kids return to education.

Two thirds of parents feel optimistic about their child seeing their friends and 60 per cent like the fact they will once again have structured lessons during the day.

Lee Newman, education publisher at Collins, said: “This September will see a return to school like no other, and parents are understandably anxious about how their children will cope during the transition – it’s uncharted territory for everyone.

“What this year has underlined is what a societal cornerstone schools are and how dedicated teachers are to the education and care of their pupils, and I think parents’ fears will be allayed quite quickly once term is underway.

“Learning resources such as practice workbooks and revision guides have a great role to play as children get back up to speed.

“Parents can use them to model positive attitudes toward learning, they can be used informally to recap prior learning; and they provide a great confidence boost as students’ progress through the materials.”

Half of parents think their children’s social skills will have been affected after months away from the playground and classroom.

Other top worries around the return to school include the risk of their child catching Covid-19 (38 per cent), finding a five-day week difficult (27 per cent) and struggling academically (33 per cent).

Playing games during break time, seeing their favourite teachers and learning their preferred subjects are things parents believe children are most looking forward to.

Dr Kathy Weston, one of the leading experts on parental engagement in children’s lives and learning, said: “It is normal to feel a little bit anxious about the start of the school term, and this year it might feel particularly acute.

“However, it’s important that parents model the approach that we wish to see.

“By staying positive, focusing on the things we can control and expressing excitement about your child’s step up into a new school year, we give them the best chance of a good start in September”.

Parents’ top 10 worries about their child returning to school

  1. Adjusting to their daily routine again
  2. The risk of catching Covid-19
  3. That their child will struggle with their next stage of learning after the recent gap
  4. Worries about social distancing and how this will affect their child
  5. Their friendships being affected by the break
  6. How tired they will be
  7. How much they will struggle with homework
  8. Their overall confidence being affected
  9. Their overall mood
  10. Adjusting to a new teacher or school without having any settling in days

Things parents feel positive about their child returning to school:

  1. Seeing their friends again
  2. Getting back into a routine
  3. Having structured lessons during the day
  4. Spending time in the classroom
  5. Getting more physical exercise

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