New research has revealed that 86% of Cardiff parents have been unsatisfied with the level of support from their child’s school over lockdown.
Only Southampton parents were less satisfied (89%).
The study by Oxford Home Schooling asked parents about their homeschooling experiences.
Other key Cardiff results were:
- 20% would consider homeschooling in the future, even after schools reopen
- 26% have enjoyed homeschooling over lockdown
- 17% say they are nervous about sending their children back to school in September
- 20% say that their child is more advanced than they expected
- 29% say that their child is less advanced than they expected (highest in the UK, second highest is Liverpool – 25%)
- 23% think they spotted an undiagnosed learning difficulty while homeschooling during lockdown (highest in the UK, second highest is Glasgow – 17%)
- 3% say they are now considering a career in teaching
- 9% paid for additional tutoring for their child during lockdown
- 86% were unsatisfied with the level of support from their child’s school during lockdown (second highest in the UK, after Southampton – 89%)
One particularly interesting finding was that hundreds of thousands of UK parents now suspect their child has a learning difficulty after watching them homeschool during lockdown.
One in ten (10%) parents believe they have spotted an undiagnosed condition since schools closed in March. With just under nine million pupils in the UK, that amounts to over 850,000 cases.
However, this figure could be even higher, as among the 90% of families that said they didn’t notice a learning difficulty, two thirds (66%) saw at least one symptom of one.
The most common signs were an inability to express thoughts and feelings (22%) and having issues with reading, like reading words backwards (20%). The NHS states that both of these are possible symptoms of dyslexia – a learning difficulty that affects reading, writing and spelling.
The most common learning difficulties that parents spotted symptoms of while homeschooling were:
- Dyslexia (problems with reading, writing and spelling) – 47%
- Dysgraphia (impaired handwriting and/or spelling) – 29%
- ADHD (inattentiveness and hyperactivity) – 21%
- Dyscalculia (persistent difficulties with numbers) – 19%
Younger children showed the most symptoms, with Key Stage One (79%) and Key Stage Two (80%) pupils particularly prone.
Interestingly, mums were significantly more likely to spot a learning difficulty than dads. Almost three quarters (74%) of women spotted a sign, compared to just 62% of men.
As schools prepare to fully reopen in September, the research also asked parents to reflect on their recent homeschooling experiences. More than two in five (43%) said that they have enjoyed teaching their children. This is despite a staggering four in five (80%) parents feeling unsatisfied with the level of support they’ve received from schools.
Greg Smith, Head of Operations at Oxford Home Schooling, commented on the findings: “One of the main benefits of homeschooling is that children receive a level of individual attention that is generally impossible to give in a traditional school environment. Parents develop a close bond with their child and a deeper understanding of how they work. This explains why so many have noticed undiagnosed conditions while home educating during lockdown.
“The strong relationship forged while homeschooling is one of the reasons why so many have enjoyed the experience and why almost a third (30%) say that they are considering home education even after the pandemic is over.”
If you think your child might have a learning difficulty, you can read advice on how to support them here: https://www.oxfordhomeschooling.co.uk/blog/how-to-support-your-child-if-they-have-a-learning-difficulty/