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School closures hit children hard, say parents of secondary school pupils

More than a third of parents of secondary school pupils say the closure of schools has had a negative impact on children’s learning.

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Parents say school closures have hit the learning of secondary school pupils (PA)

Parents say school closures have hit the learning of secondary school pupils (PA)

Parents say school closures have hit the learning of secondary school pupils (PA)

Almost half of parents of fifth or sixth year secondary education pupils have said that school closures inflicted a major negative impact on their learning, a survey has found.

A report produced by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) found that more
than one in three parents who have a child in secondary school said that school closures had a major negative impact on their learning.

This compared to 14% of parents in primary school.

The CSO survey, the Impact of School Closures on Students’ Learning and Social Development, also found that more than a third of parents of secondary children said school closures had a major impact on their social development.

Schools across the country have not reopened since the Christmas break.

They will begin to partially reopen from Monday when a small number of primary schoolchildren will return to the classroom.

The survey also found that during the first school closure, from March to June last year, three in ten people with a child in secondary school said their child spent five hours or more per day on learning activities provided by the child’s secondary school.

Senior statistician Gerry Reilly said: “The findings of the survey serve to highlight the impact that school closures are having on students’ learning and social development.”

At secondary school level, respondents with a child at senior cycle level were more likely to report a positive effect on their child’s learning, with almost one in ten reporting this, compared with 1.5% of respondents with a child in junior cycle secondary education.

One in three respondents with a child at secondary school reported a major negative impact on their child’s social development.

The comparable rate for respondents with a primary school student was one in five.

During school closures from March to June, one in four parents with a child attending primary school said their child spent one hour or less on learning activities provided by their schools.

The comparable rate during school closures in January and February this year was one in ten.

Adult household members are spending on average of 52 minutes per day helping primary schoolchildren with their schoolwork since schools have not reopened after the Christmas break.

Seven in ten parents who are employed and who have a child in primary school reported that the closure of primary schools since Christmas has had an impact on their work pattern.

Women are more likely to report an impact at 74%, compared with 63.4% of men.

Men with a child in primary school were more likely to report working the same hours, but in a disjointed pattern throughout the day or week, with four in ten reporting this, compared with two in ten women workers.

Women were more likely to have taken unpaid leave at 9.4% compared with 0.4% of men, and to have changed to working from home at 16.7% compared to 9.3% of men.

PA


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