Every parent has struggled to some extent in lockdown.
Some have struggled to balance work and home school, while others have had to manage the impact of school closures on their children’s mental or physical health.
Some have had to take a financial hit in order to cope, while those who have had to prioritise work to keep a roof over their heads have had the guilt of not giving their children’s education their full attention.
And many parents who have managed to balance work and home school successfully, have often done so in lieu of focusing on the needs of their pre-school children.
A lack of physical space to work and teach has added an extra layer of complication in many households.
So when the school gates opened yesterday, most parents breathed a huge sigh of relief, for themselves and for their children.
For most pupils, schools have been closed for around eight of the last 12 months. There will undoubtedly be numerous long-term studies of the emotional and physical impact of this, but ahead of the reopening, Portland asked 650 parents in England how they feel the closures have impacted their lives.
And the findings paint a clear picture: it has been a time of intense stress and worry for many families.
The impact on parents:
- Almost 60% of parents think that home schooling has impacted their ability to perform their best at work
- A similar number (65%) have had to drastically cut their working hours to spend more time teaching
- As a consequence, three quarters of parents have had to take a pay cut at work, leading to widespread concern about finances.
- Over half of parents (55%) are “very” concerned about their financial situations, with 41% being somewhat concerned.
The impact on children:
- Just under 40% of parents feel that their children’s mental health has been negatively affected by being at home instead of school, with 37% feeling the same way about their children’s physical health.
- While many parents believe their children will bounce back quickly now that schools are reopening, a significant number are worried about long lasting implications. Over a third (35%) are concerned about the long-term impact on schoolwork and over a quarter (26%) are worried about long-term damage to their children’s mental health.
Portland is accredited by the British Polling Council.
For more information about this study or to talk to us about commissioning bespoke polling, please get in touch.