Remote learning in first half term — February 2021

Read our short survey of views around remote learning from parents of school children in England.

Key findings 

  • Around two thirds (69%) of parents are not confident that schools reopening to more pupils in March would be safe for their family.
  • Parents worrying about the impact of the pandemic on their child’s education has significantly reduced (by 22%) since January 2021. This could be related to a number of factors; the increased satisfaction in remote learning provision offered by their schools, increased confidence in supporting learning at home or recent government announcements on catch-up funding.
  • Parents overall satisfaction with their child’s school’s provision of remote learning support continues to improve, with a slight increase since May 2020.
  • The majority of parents (80%) continue to be confident in supporting their child’s learning at home.
  • Other ways to improve parents’ confidence further would be:
  1. More live lessons
  2. Better explanations of work being set
  3. More feedback
  4. More flexibility to work set and timings
  • Around a third of parents are either spending more time (37%) or the same amount of time (36%) overseeing their child’s schoolwork compared to March 2020 (the first lockdown).
  • Over half of parents (53%) are coping with the current learning arrangements better now compared to March 2020 (the first lockdown).
  • The current arrangements for their child’s schooling has impacted parents’ mental health and well-being in different ways, with a small majority (23%) of parents’ mental health and well-being not being impacted.
  • The top three challenges for parents with the current learning arrangements are:
  1. Motivating their child to do their schoolwork
  2. Managing their child’s mental health and well-being
  3. Juggling work and schooling
  • Other unprompted challenges highlighted include:
  1. Anxiety caused by schools re-opening too soon
  2. Anxiety over public exam arrangements
  3. Managing their child’s physical health
  • The top three positives for parents with the current learning arrangements are:
  1. Being more aware of what my child is learning
  2. Having alternative options to engage with my child’s teacher e.g. virtual parents’ evenings
  3. Being provided with learning resources that can help me engage with my child’s learning
  • Other unprompted positives highlighted include:
  1. Their child prefers learning at home
  2. More time spent with child and family
  3. Their child being able to work at own pace
  4. Flexibility to learn other things
  5. Improvements in their child’s mental health

Our methodology 

This short online survey promoted to parents of school age children in England via social media, was active between 9pm on 9th February 2021 and 10am on 23rd February 2021. In total, 565 parents completed the survey. Please note percentages may not always add up to 100% due to rounding.

Additional analysis by demographics can be provided on request.

Download the results