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News Report Page 6 of 13
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Mums take the lead on home Schooling - with only 12% of dads stepping up to the mark

MUMS are picking up almost all the home teaching burden during Schools lockdown, with just 11.8% 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. 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 27.7% spending more than 4 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%) and English (92.17%), with science in 3rd place at just 38.26%. Fitting in home Schooling with other work and other commitments was the top challenge for parents, with 35.29% citing it. Keeping their children engaged with learning was 2nd biggest bugbear, at 31.09%. And only 11% said they were loving Home Schooling their children!Nearly 40% 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 33.6% saying it had altered their attitude. 1 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'm 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, talk of child reaction to [Covid-19] virus rather than Teachers."
[PPE = Personal Protective Equipment]

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 2 different topics [to 2 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."

NSPCC launches nationwide campaign to help children exposed to harm under the lockdown

WITH growing concern for the safety of some children during the Coronavirus crisis the NSPCC wants more people to know how to get advice and support and where to raise concerns about a child's wellbeing. The charity is launching a new TV and advertising campaign across the UK to promote its free and confidential helpline for adults. The film, which will run on national television and across social media, depicts a helpline expert taking a call from someone concerned for the wellbeing of a neighbour's child. The Government has provided ₤1.6m in funding so that the NSPCC can expand its helpline by employing more staff across two sites and raise public awareness of it. The work comes as the charity publishes the latest data from its helpline which shows that the crisis has exacerbated existing risks for children and created new ones.

► In the month since lockdown there have been a total of 5,237 contacts to the helpline from across the UK from adults concerned about the wellbeing and safety of a child.

► Of these, 817 contacts were from adults with worries about parents and carers misusing alcohol and other substances, a 22% increase on the 4 weeks prior to 23 March 202.

► Other issues where there has been a double digit percentage increase in contacts include domestic abuse (10%) and emotional abuse (50%)

► From 13 April to 19 April 2020 the NSPCC helpline received 1580 contacts, the highest number in a single week in 2020.

1 adult who contacted the helpline in the last month said:- "I am concerned about the children who live next door. Just now I heard the mother screaming and shouting at the child and I heard her say… "Shut the **** up!" and there were threats of violence too. There is an ongoing situation where the mother invites adults to the family home and there is a lingering of cannabis in the air whilst the children are present." (Neighbour)

While Schools and Social Workers remain at the forefront of work to protect vulnerable children, including by supporting them to attend School, expanding the NSPCC helpline and raising its profile will mean more adults know where to go with concerns about the safety and wellbeing of any children.

NSPCC CEO, Peter Wanless, said:- "Coronavirus is presenting us with a number of huge challenges, one of which is how we keep children safe when so much of everyday life is going on behind closed doors. It is crucial that all of us in society recognise we have a role to play in looking out for those young people for whom home may not always be the safest place. Thanks to the funding from the Government the NSPCC will be able to reach many more adults across the UK with the message that our helpline is here to provide confidential support and advice if they have any worries about the wellbeing of a child."

The Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, said:- "Our priority is to keep vulnerable children safe, which is why we are backing the NSPCC helpline to be the first port of a call for anyone concerned about a child's welfare. We all have a role to play in protecting vulnerable children, particularly now many are staying at home and may face greater risks. Whether you are a neighbour or member of the community, we must all be the eyes and ears on the ground for these children, and support our brilliant social workers in keeping children safe."

Some common signs that there may be something concerning happening in a child's life include:-

► Aggressive or repeated shouting.

► Hearing hitting or things being broken.

► Children crying for long periods of time.

► Very young children left alone or are outdoors by themselves.

► Children looking dirty or not changing their clothes.

► Children being withdrawn or anxious.

In 2019 the NSPCC helpline, which has around 100 staff, received 73,000 contacts from people with concerns about a child's welfare. It can be reached 24 hours a day by email:- Help@NSPCC.Org.UK; or through its online reporting form. Its team of experts can also be called:- Monday to Friday, from 8am to 10pm or 9am to 6pm, at the weekends, on:- 0808 8005000..

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