Coronavirus prompts major changes in parents’ sense of responsibility for children’s education


5th May 2020

CfEY is delighted to have worked with the Centre for Social Mobility at the University of Exeter to allow parents and teachers around the country to share their experiences and concerns about school closures during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Main findings from the research suggest that families are more likely to think they should be involved in their child’s education since the coronavirus pandemic began. The survey distributed online throughout April gathered the thoughts of around 2,200 parents and teachers around the country.

Our analysis also revealed that a fifth of parents who took part in the research would consider educating their children at home after the coronavirus lockdown if they were paid to do so. While many teachers highlighted the challenges of off-site learning, around half who took part in the research said they felt that the experience would have a positive impact on their teaching once children return to classrooms.

Professor Anna Mountford-Zimdars, Academic Director of the University of Exeter’s Centre for Social Mobility, said: “Our survey paints a picture of the current wellbeing of parents, guardians, children and teachers just a few weeks into this major change in children’s lives. We can see their views have changed rapidly, and this is likely to have an impact on education in the future. Our aim is to rapidly analyse our findings so we can report them to Government and others who support children and families.”

Bart Shaw, CfEY’s Head of Policy, who worked on the study said: “With the balance of responsibility for education shifting so dramatically towards parents, the government needs to dramatically accelerate and expand the support it is giving families who are struggling to access the resources they need for home learning. The Government also needs to clarify what the expectations are on schools as there is a considerable risk that gaps and inequalities will widen.”

This short video summarises the key findings of the research so far. We look forward to helping dig deeper into the findings over the coming month.