One in five less advantaged families say lack of food at home makes home learning harder, according to survey

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13th January 2021 15:58 - Education

One in five less advantaged families say lack of food at home makes home learning harder: A survey of parents has given insight into the challenges faced by many families in the UK when it comes to home learning, and the even greater impact it has on children from families with lower incomes.

It found that almost a fifth of the less advantaged parents polled (19%) said that their child's learning has been impacted due to a lack of food at home. This compared to just 3% of families with a 'comfortable' annual income.

The poll of 3,409 UK parents by the University of Sussex was conducted earlier this year, from May 5 until the end of July. It found that children from families with lower incomes were more likely to find home learning difficult in a number of ways than their more 'comfortable' peers.

When it came to space, 22% of parents of primary school children from lower income or ‘struggling’ families said a lack of space made home learning more difficult during the first Covid-19 lockdown, compared to 45% of ‘comfortable’ families. Lack of technology was also an issue, especially for struggling parents (45% vs 26%), as was a lack of internet (35% vs 16%) and noise levels (59% vs 50%).

The research also found that amongst secondary school children who were eligible for free school meals, two-fifths (39%) were more likely to report not having access to laptops and other devices to support their home learning, compared to 19% of children from comfortable income families.

According to the findings, secondary school girls were twice as likely to be motivated with home learning than boys.



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