Women ‘put careers on hold’ at homeschooling during UK Covid-19 lockdown | Education

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Women spent more than twice as much time as men on home schooling and child development during the UK coronavirus lockdown, according to the first university study to measure parental reaction as schools and nurseries were closed to most families.

Surveys by researchers at University College London (UCL) found that women in several age groups were most affected by childcare and home schooling, while those with children of primary school age “were considerably more likely” to have dropped out of work than fathers of the same age.

‘As the coronavirus pandemic closed schools and nurseries across the UK, it was mothers, especially those of young children, who were most likely to have stopped working and stepped in to provide educational support for their children ”, the UCL researchers. Center for Longitudinal Studies said.

Among parents of children of primary school age, mothers spent an average of five hours per day on home schooling, while fathers spent only two hours per day. Women also spent more than three hours per day on developmental activities – such as doing puzzles, reading or playing games – compared to just under two hours per day for fathers.

Emla Fitzsimons, co-author of the research and professor at the Institute of Education at UCL, said: “Many mothers who have put their careers on hold to provide educational support to their children will again have to adjust a once schools reopen and the vacation program shrinks. of.

“And with educational inequalities between advantaged and disadvantaged children potentially increasing during this time, policymakers and practitioners will need to be vigilant to ensure that those who have suffered the most learning losses are well supported when they return from school.”

The parents most likely to devote the most time to home schooling were those with more education and those who stopped working. Some 63% of parents with a diploma said they home-taught their primary school-age children, compared with 49% of parents with less education.

Parents who continued to work during lockdown spent 1.2 hours less per day home schooling than parents who were not working.

The researchers also found that the average number of hours of paid work across all age groups fell by around 40%, including those who had stopped working completely and those who had cut back on hours. For people aged 30, the average number of hours worked fell from 34 to 22.

Across all groups, nearly 30% said they were worse off financially since the start of the pandemic. However, the short-term financial effects were not uniform: the financial situation of some people improved due to the reduction in forced spending for childcare and travel expenses.

More than 60% of 19-year-old men stopped working altogether during the lockdown, compared to 33% of those aged 30. But there was a split between those who said they got worse and those who didn’t, as many were students who returned to live with their parents, potentially reducing their rent and other bills.

The research contacted more than 18,000 people who participated in UCL longitudinal studies since childhood, to analyze the impact on work, finances and parenthood among the four generations born in 1958, 1970, 1989-90 and 2000-02.

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