Nearly half of parents unhappy with remote learning during lockdown

New CV19 Lockdown School Survey reveals what parents really think about their child’s remote learning experience

A new survey conducted by Muddy Stilettos Best Schools Guide identifies key concerns over remote learning during lockdown. Specifically:

  • Nearly half of parents are dissatisfied with their child’s progress and development since lockdown
  • 82% of children are missing their friends and social interaction with teachers
  • Of the least satisfied parents, only 13% of children have had direct contact and personal guidance on their work with their teachers in 12 weeks
  • Many children are bored, lack motivation and parents are worried that their education has been set back


1,200 participants responded between 4-9 June to the recent online parent survey across 25 counties in England and covering both State and Independent schools of all ages. And while years 10 and 12 can return to school today, there is continued uncertainty for those who struggle with the challenges of remote learning during lockdown.

Tech-led approach scores higher

The survey revealed that the majority of schools emailed assignments to students or used online education apps, such as Satchel, to deliver their lessons from teachers.

You might also like: 70% of school teachers think students haven’t adapted well to remote learning amid COVID-19 closures

The best performing schools, however, were using more video and interactive learning experiences (either live video conferencing, pre-recorded teacher-led videos or screen-sharing slides with voice overlaid), plus real world and physical assignments to add variety and creativity into their home-learning lessons. They were also more likely to use a wider range of approaches to teaching such as on-line assemblies, links to YouTube, interactive websites (such as MyMaths and Kodu), and experiential lessons such as DT, Science, PE lesson and Cooking.

The best performing schools, however, were using more video and interactive learning experiences

While the survey found, on average, that more independent schools were delivering more technology-enabled lessons, the findings show that this was not exclusive to private schools; where state schools were delivering more interactive lessons, satisfaction levels were higher.

Long-term concerns

Over the long term and while disruption continues, parents of children who were less satisfied by their schools’ lockdown response were more worried about the long-term adverse effects of their child’s mental health than those with children at the higher performing schools *(47% vs 25%).

When asked to comment on the innovations and clever ideas that schools had used for teaching during lockdown, the survey respondents mentioned a large amount of creativity in how their schools were interacting with their children. These fell into four key areas:

1. Make things real
Integrate virtual engagement with experiential assignments and build in topicality, eg art, baking, experiments, science, and nature projects, at home Sports Days, PE classes

2. Create a sense of community
Assemblies every day for the whole school, online group lessons, class blogs, weekly school podcast

3. Make things fun
Video show and tell, online story-telling, personalised videos from teachers, dressing up, singing, dancing, hosting quizzes, discos, school heads writing and performing lock-down songs, afternoon virtual tea parties

4. Reward and recognition
Having points systems to keep children motivated, awarding virtual badges, weekly awards ceremonies, inter-house competitions

Hero Brown, the founder and editor-in-chief of Muddy Stilettos Best Schools Guide, commented: “This survey reveals that the challenges with educating children during Lockdown have been significant and there are obvious areas of improvement. However, evidence also suggests that many schools have pivoted successfully, and there are many exciting opportunities for schools to adapt to this new normal.

“With some classes going back to school, teachers will need to be able to deliver both home learning and classroom group lessons simultaneously. These latest survey results indicate that using interactive video technologies, together with a wider variety of approaches, should be proactively embraced and can further stimulate students to ensure a better educational experience wherever they are.”

*(Poor performing schools are where parents are dissatisfied/very dissatisfied with their children’s learning and development vs better performing schools where parents are satisfied/very satisfied with their children’s learning and development during CV19 Lockdown)

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