Majority of Parents Anxious About Children Starting Primary School, Study Shows

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3rd September 2014 11:20 - Education

More than seven in 10 (71%) parents admitted they are anxious about their child’s first day at primary school, with more than one fifth (22%) of this figure “very anxious” and just less than half (49%) “a little anxious.”

At the other end of the spectrum, one quarter (25%) said they were not anxious - one in 10 (10%) were “not anxious at all” and around one sixth (15%) were “not very anxious.” The remaining 4% said they did not know.

In addition, nearly half (48%) of the study’s participants thought they felt more anxious than their child about starting school - 16% said “much more anxious” and one third (32%) said “a little more anxious.”

In contrast, around two fifths (42%) believed they were less anxious than their child about starting primary school - three in 10 (29%) said “about as anxious as my child” and 13% said “less anxious.” The remaining 10% were unsure.

Whether or not their child would make friends (36%) was voted the most concerning factor causing anxiousness. Younger parents (18-24 years old) were noticeably less concerned about their children forging new friendships (10%).

Getting settled and into a routine (23%), bullying (19%), that they will grow up too soon (7%), that they will miss them too much (6%), increased academic pressures (4%), the school run (3%) and whether or not their child will eat a proper lunch (1%) also featured as factors warranting anxious feelings.

While three quarters (74%) of the survey’s respondents said their school or local council provided them with about the right amount of information to help prepare for starting school for the first time, almost one quarter (23%) felt they were not given enough information - this figure was notably higher for participants residing in Scotland (41%) and lower in South West England (8%).

Furthermore, more than half (54%) said they would like more support to help themselves and their children start school - two fifths (41%) said “a little more support” and 13% said “a lot more support.” Just less than half (46%) said they did not require any more support.

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