independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Thousands of parents never help children with homework

A mum helping her daughter out with homework but thousands of parents don't check their child's schoolwork

THOUSANDS of primary school children never receive help from their parents with homework.

While the majority of parents help their children every day, 4pc of all primary school children, and 28pc of those in post-primary schools, do the homework by themselves.

There are 526,000 primary school children in the country, and the figures suggest more than 21,000 receive no help. There are another 362,800 in post-primary, with 102,000 getting no help, according to the Central Statistics Office.

Its Quarterly National Household survey is aimed at determining how parents involve themselves in their children's education and targeted households with children aged between three and 18 years.

The parents and guardians of 12,131 children were asked a range of questions on their involvement, and the figures show:

* Some 69pc of primary school children and 13pc of secondary students are helped with homework on a daily basis.

* Overall, 59pc of parents feel very confident about helping. This rises to 72pc where parents have a third-level degree or higher.

* Most parents (93pc) read to their children aged between three and seven years, with 71pc doing so on a daily basis.

Overall, 61pc of parents whose first language was English or Irish felt "very confident" about helping, compared with 47pc of those who were more comfortable with other languages. Organisation Youth Work Ireland, a federation of 22 local voluntary services, said that greater assistance for parents, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, could help children remain longer in school.

Youth Work Ireland provides help to early school leavers, and said it was well established that parental support was "critical" to young people's educational performance.

"It appears from the survey that we are doing well at primary level but less so at second level," spokesman Michael McLoughlin said.

"This may be because parents see the curriculum as more challenging.

"Supporting a young person's learning can be done without having a full understanding of the subject matter and schools should be facilitating this," he added.

"Parental support for young people can be a holy grail for educational attainment and can be facilitated at limited cost with huge benefit."

Irish Independent

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