Coronavirus Parent Survey 4

Today (Monday, 16th November 2020) we release the findings from our fourth parent coronavirus snapshot survey. The new report brings us up to date on parents' opinions and concerns now that most children have returned to the classroom for the first term of the new academic year.

Pupil attendance and missed learning

The latest survey has found that parents are telling us the periods their child has missed of school because of the pandemic, either through having symptoms or needing to self-isolate. Parents continue to be worried about the impact the pandemic and the previous academic year’s school closures will have on their child's attainment. There is some evidence of a digital divide when pupils are learning remotely, and parents would like to see more provision for such learning. Overall, parents feel that their child's school is doing a good job managing the situation.

Read or download the full report.

Read or download the infographic.

Top findings in England
  • Six out of ten parents said their child had attended school every day over the first autumn half term.
  • Almost a quarter (23%) of parents who indicated an absence of at least one day said that their child has shown symptoms of Covid-19 themselves resulting in being off school.
  • Just under half (45%) of parents reporting a coronavirus absence said that their child has missed ten or more days of school in the first half term.
  • Seven in ten parents said that their child is receiving all or some of the support they need to catch up on the face-to-face learning missed whilst schools were closed in the spring and summer terms. However, one in ten parents feel that their child is not getting any of the support they need.
  • Just under a third (31%) of parents said their child has a digital device with internet access for remote learning that they have to share with someone else in their household.
  • Almost two-thirds (67%) of parents tend to agree or strongly agree that their child’s school is doing a good job managing the coronavirus situation.
  • More than three quarters (76%) of parents feel that the government has not listened to them during the coronavirus pandemic.
What can we conclude from the findings?

John Jolly, CEO of Parentkind, says, “Our findings show that, although most parents appreciate that school leaders and teachers are doing their best to catch up their child with missed learning and keep their education on track, anxiety remains high. With continuing lengthy absences as more pupils are sent home to self-isolate, parents are naturally more worried than ever about the lasting negative impact the pandemic will have on their child’s academic attainment and life outcomes.

“Since the pandemic caused schools to close in March, we’ve regularly invited parents to give us their views with a series of coronavirus snapshot surveys, so we can understand what their major concerns are and alert education stakeholders and media to them. Parents are best-placed to know how their child’s learning is affected by long and ongoing absences. By presenting parents’ views, we aim to ensure their concerns are listened to and acted upon by policymakers.”

About the methodology

A short online survey, promoted to parents via social media, was active between 22nd October and 4th November 2020. 624 parents completed the survey (405 in England, 191 in Northern Ireland and 28 in Wales). These results are from parents based in England only. Please note percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

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