Parents fear for kids’ results amid schools shutdown
Exclusive: The inequity across schools in Australia has been laid bare by the home learning era with private school parents significantly more likely to be offered time with their child's teacher compared to public schools.
The school shutdown has also left huge numbers of young people and their parents worried about the long term fallout and asking state governments to tell them how their kids will catch up.
Public schools students were more likely to receive basic worksheets as their main remote learning method, as opposed to interactive online classes according to a survey done by national education platform Cluey Learning.
The report found 49 per cent of public school students learnt remotely via worksheets as opposed to just 28 per cent of private school students.
In comparison most private school students did their work by live classroom sessions or prerecorded lessons.
The insight into the impact of the schools shutdown on different students was also reflected in a new UNICEF report which found "not all students were impacted equally by the move to remote learning".
"Everyone likes to say we're all in the same boat. But different schools are really giving out different levels of help to the students," one female student said in the UNICEF report.
UNICEF's National Advocacy and Programs Manager Juliet Attenborough said the blueprint revealed the inequities between schools.
"Young people in regional areas recognised that digital access was an issue, and that schools from less wealthy areas are not as well resourced," she said.
"In terms of that equity you can see the resourcing and the extent to which private schools have better resourcing capabilities in the first instance, versus schools for who resources are already stretched."
The school shutdown has also left huge numbers of young people and their parents worried about the long term fall out with 67 per cent of young people in the UNICEF discussions saying they are concerned about their schooling and the Cluey Learning research also finding one-third of parents are concerned their child's learning has suffered.
The findings came as News Corp embarked upon a campaign calling on governments to be clear about how teachers will determine where students are at academically and how much work they have missed out on.
Parents in NSW public schools were told on Wednesday their child will receive additional assessment to determine where they are at following the school shutdown, as well as a simplified version of their Semester 1 report card.
The campaign also asked for additional cleaning and hygiene supplies, a commitment to hire additional teachers to support the transition and access to IT support for vulnerable teachers still working from home.
We also asked parents to nominate a 'top teacher' who have gone above and beyond for their students during these challenging times and had hundreds of nominations come in from across the country.
NBN will now support vulnerable, pregnant and older teachers with a special priority service to deliver online learning, the NSW government is rolling out hygiene supplies and extra cleaners and additional assessments while Apple also came on board with specialised one-on-one distance learning coaching for teachers.
In addition a coalition of small businesses, Aussie Small Businesses Survive and Thrive offered a range of items to thank teachers.
The weeks of off-campus learning also impacted the careers of almost 60 per cent of primary school parents according to the Cluey research which also found the lockdown reaped some positive benefits.
More than 65 per cent of parents said they better understand how their child learns as a result of at-home learning and Cluey Chief Learning Officer, Dr Selina Samuels said they have seen a spike in the number of parents seeking extra support.
"While this period has presented many challenges, it's given parents a much deeper insight into what their child is learning at school and their learning gaps. Parents now have a lot of observations to draw on to support their child's learning moving forward," she said, adding that the era had highlighted the educational inequities across Australia
"Technology can and should bolster real time interactions between students and teachers. Yet only some children have been lucky enough to experience this during this period of isolation."
Mother Iris Ni has been juggling work as a caterer and also trying to help her children with their schoolwork.
Her young son and daughter usually attend the local public school and Ms Ni said most of the schoolwork has been very worksheet driven and requires a lot of hands-on attention.
"It has mostly been worksheets you have to print out. I think it would be helpful to have a teacher on the screen talking as they pay more attention."
She said she would have liked more time with the teachers but recognises they are very busy.
"I try not to ask too many questions."
CLUEY LEARNING KEY STATS
● Almost one third of parents believe their child's learning has suffered during this period
● Lack of peer-to-peer learning has been the biggest educational challenge for their child (47 per cent)
● Their child likes or even loves online learning (48 per cent)
Metropolitan students are significantly more likely to receive live online classroom sessions compared to regional/rural students (27 per cent V 14 per cent)
● Public school students are significantly more likely to receive worksheets as their main learning method (vs. prerecorded or live classes) compared to students in private schools (49 per cent V 28 per cent)
● Private school parents are significantly more likely to have been offered time with their child's teacher to discuss their learning progress compared to students in public and Catholic schools (60 per cent V 42 per cent)
Originally published as Parents fear for kids' results amid schools shutdown