Barely one in 20 fathers led home schooling during the first lockdown, says survey

PlanBee’s poll found that 78% of mothers undertook most or all of the home schooling, with 12% of households sharing the responsibility

Barely one in 20 fathers took the lead on home schooling their children during the first lockdown, according to a new survey.

When lesson resource providers, PlanBee, questioned “hundreds” of parents of primary school-aged children, just 6.7% of households reported that dads were doing most or all of the home school teaching.

By comparison, 78.2% of mums were taking the lead, with 11.8% of homes reporting an even splitting of the responsibility.

“The vast majority of primary school workforce are women, but we still find it surprising that, when it comes to home teaching, dads appear to be doing so little,” said PlanBee senior resource creator, Oli Ryan.

“If it’s a sign that teaching young children is considered to be ‘women’s work’, it’s pretty alarming.”

PlanBee’s survey might be limited in number, but it nevertheless chimes with last year’s Global Consumer Trends: Economy Edition report. In a poll of more than 9,000 people, it found that women take on the bulk of responsibility for remote learning around the world.

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Fitting in home schooling around other commitments was cited as the top challenge by the survey’s respondents (35.3%), followed by keeping their children engaged (31%).

A third of parents said that the experience had changed their attitudes to teaching and teachers.

“Trying to get children engaged to learn is very hard,” said one parent.

“I know it’s a challenging time, but my year 4 [child] struggles to engage if he doesn’t like the subject and I can see how that would translate in the classroom. Hats off to all teachers!”

Although the latest lockdown came too late to be included in the survey, PlanBee reports that the breadth of home schooling lessons prepared by schools is altogether wider than in March. Back then, with little time to prepare, the number of teaching subjects was extremely restricted; while more than 90% of parents received lesson plans for maths and English, the third placed subject – science – was made available to only 38.3%.

In a figure a number of households will surely find a little on the high side, 11% of survey respondents said they were “loving” home schooling their children.

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