My child’s education has suffered in pandemic, parents tell survey

Teacher wearing mask in class

A snapshot survey found Norfolk parents felt the pandemic had hit their child's learning, but most praised schools and teachers. - Credit: PA

Two thirds of Norfolk parents feel their children’s education has been negatively affected by school disruption, a snapshot survey has found. 

An end of term poll of 50 parents found nine in 10 had been ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ with safety measures taken by schools in a year hugely disrupted by the pandemic.

But 62pc said they felt their children’s learning and academic progress had been impacted by school closures, home schooling and classroom measures including year bubbles and having to wear face masks.

More than half said their children had found it ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ difficult to keep up with school work while an overwhelming number of respondents cited not seeing or socialising with friends and missing sports and after-school activities as ways their child had been affected. 

Family homeschooling

Parents cited homeschooling and the impact on children's social lives as negatives. - Credit: PA

One parent who took part in the snapshot EDP/Norwich Evening News survey said: “It was strange and unsettling. 

“It made everyone feel scared. This meant everything changed and nothing felt normal. There had to be a limited curriculum so routine and familiarity went out of the window. Feeling anxious and unsettled is not a good place to start from when learning.”

Another added: “It was all too much. They weren't allowed outside to play in case the children screamed or shouted. They've had to be in class six hours and 45 minutes a day without fresh air. 

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“My child's anxiety has gone through the roof with the rules and regulations. He did not want to be at school and was not enjoying learning.”

Parents were full of praise for teachers with seven in 10 saying their child had received the support when needed ‘always’ or ‘often’.

Pupils wearing masks

Face masks, changes to the curriculum and impact on exams were cited by parents as ways students had been negatively affected. - Credit: PA

However the Government handling of disruption, which saw advice to schools change frequently, was seen less sympathetically with 80pc saying it had been handled badly. 

Asked what they had found most challenging about the last school year, one respondent said: “Keeping up with the constant flow of change from the Government and knowing that the school would have to find a way through it at short notice and that children would then have to be affected and learn to cope.”

Homeschooling, lack of opportunities and reduction of the curriculum, and disruption to exams were also cited. 

Asked how their child had adapted to remote learning during school closures, respondents were split almost 50-50 between those who had adapted or struggled.

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