“Hopefully it will not be too long before our great museums, music venues and other attractions can once again welcome visitors from near and far.”
Mums are picking up almost all the home teaching burden during schools lockdown, with just 11.8 percent of fathers taking the lead on helping their children keep up to speed.
That’s the shock finding from a survey of hundreds of parents of primary school-aged children carried out by leading education resources and lesson plan experts PlanBee.
PlanBee’s Oli Ryan, a former primary school teacher, said: ‘We know that not all families are willing or able to help their children with home learning, but we were amazed to find that there was such a huge gender disparity in terms of who was taking up the teaching mantle.’
He continued: ‘The vast majority of primary school workforce are women, but we still find it surprising that when it comes to home teaching Dads appear to be doing so little. If it’s a sign that teaching young children is considered to be “women’s work”, it’s pretty alarming.’
And parents – the vast majority, women – are allocating significant parts of their day to home schooling, with over a quarter (27.7 percent) spending more than four hours a day on it.
And it seems that an extremely limited number of subjects are being sent to pupils at home by their schools. Nearly all respondents said they had received work in maths (93.04 percent) and English (92.17 percent), with science in third place at just 38.26 percent.
Fitting in home schooling with other work and other commitments was the top challenge for parents, with over a third (35.29) per cent citing it. Keeping their children engaged with learning was second biggest bugbear, at 31.09 percent.
And only 11 percent said they were loving home-schooling their children!
Nearly 40 percent of the respondents are primary school teachers as well as parents. And home-schooling is having a big impact on parents’ perception of teaching, with nearly one-third (33.6 percent) saying it had altered their attitude.
One respondent remarked: ‘Trying to get children engaged to learn is very hard! I know it’s a challenging time, but my Year 4 struggles to engage if he doesn’t like the subject and I can see how that would translate in the classroom! Hats off to all teachers!’
A teacher-parent said that home-schooling was quite different from work: ‘I am a teacher but it’s different when trying to teach your own!!’
And for teacher-parents, the challenges were particularly marked: ‘I now have to teach the children in my class remotely as well as home school my own child. I respect myself and my colleagues a lot more.’
Another said: ‘Although I work in nurseries and I’m qualified as a teaching assistant, I don’t think I realised just how much work (and patience) goes into teaching.’
Another reflected: ‘I feel that people view schools as free childcare rather than a source of education. I don’t feel that teachers are seen as human – no PPE [personal protective equipment], talk of child reaction to [Covid-19] virus rather than teachers’.’
And some felt that home-schooling was an ambition too far and that the emotional state of their children was more important: ‘Some need to realise the situation that some are in with just trying to maintain mental well-being without the constant barrage from schools for replicated school days.’
Although there was wide respect for the work of classroom teachers, not all parents believed that schools’ management of home learning was up to scratch, and there were complaints that there had been scant thought about the practicalities of the school work to be done at home.
On parent said: ‘I’m actually pretty annoyed with the school – the work sent home is unrealistic, with no thought as to how this is supposed to work. We’ve been given the work with literally hours’ notice, so no prep time at all, and in spite of the fact we’re delivering it. Trying to explain two different topics [to two children] alternately is difficult at best – hence my giving up and abandoning the school work and doing our own thing so they were both working (at different levels obviously!) on the same topic.’
Milton Keynes’ MPs, Iain Stewart and Ben Everitt are calling on constituents from the local British-Chinese community to put themselves forward for a new award designed to recognise their achievements and contributions to national life.
Nominations are now open for The Blossom Awards which aim to identify high achievers from the British-Chinese Community across the country in a range of fields from science and the creative industries to business and voluntary work.
The Awards aim to recognise unsung heroes like teachers, NHS staff and charity leaders, and those who have achieved success in professional fields like engineering, technology and business.
The Blossom Awards are the first ever accolades focused exclusively on the British-Chinese Community – the country’s third largest visible ethnic minority group.
Whilst first generation Chinese immigrants typically worked in takeaways and restaurants, second and third generations of British-Chinese people, many of whom who were born or grew up in the UK, have flourished in a broad range of fields and make an outstanding contribution to our area and to national life beyond the traditional stereotypes.
Iain Stewart MP said: “British-Chinese people are doing inspirational work in communities across our area, and the Blossom Awards shine a light on their success and contribution. From business and the arts to science and the charity sector, the Awards also enable British-Chinese people to challenge outdated perceptions about their identity.
“Please encourage a friend, family member, neighbour or colleague who deserves recognition to nominate themselves.”
Ben Everitt MP commented, “We are lucky to have a really strong British-Chinese community here in Milton Keynes and I’d strongly encourage nominations for people who are making a real difference to their communities.
“At a time when the world is coming together to battle the coronavirus, awards such as the Blossom Awards can bring us some positivity and strengthen our sense of community.”
The Awards have gained the support of Alan Yau OBE, entrepreneur and founder of the Wagamama noodle bar chain, and have been co-founded by Alan Mak, the UK’s first ever MP of British-Chinese heritage.
Nominations are now open and close on Friday 12 June 2020 and must be submitted online: www.TheBlossomAwards.org.uk
Award Winners will be invited to a ceremony in central London in late October 2020.