How will Covid affect Christmas?

Now we’re firmly into the new school year, let’s look ahead at… how Covid might affect Christmas 😱. In today’s blog we also check up on homework, how you choose a school and whether you feel you can tell headteachers what to do!

But first…

In case you missed it

This week Parent Ping data had its first success in being used to argue for change 🙌. Teacher mag TES had an article written by a teacher imploring colleagues to stop calling you ‘mum’ and ‘dad’. Why? Because most of you say you’re not a fan! See the original Parent Ping write-up here.

This is why Parent Ping is so powerful! Your collective voice now rings in teachers’ ears. Please share the news with others so they sign up too.

Right, onwards…

1. School choice

It’s the time of year for school applications. If you’re looking for a school for your child this year, the search will invariably be affected by Covid (isn’t everything), but we wanted to know how you picked any schools your kids are in at present.

When looking at secondary schools, you seem to do more research and like to go to open days. For primaries and nurseries, websites are the most important tool.

As we have reported before, around half of you said you look at Ofsted reports. Only a few of you turn to social media (although you do frequently talk to other people about the decision).

Children’s say in the decision is influenced by their age. Secondary school decisions are more often jointly made with parents. Before this age only a small proportion of children get any say. To be fair, it’s quite hard for 4-year-olds to read an Ofsted report! 

2. Influence on school

Choosing a school is obviously a huge decision. But once your child is in a school or nursery, how much influence do you have over how well it meets your child’s needs?

In Parent Ping land we call this answer a three-way tie: roughly a third agreed (you can influence), a third were neutral (you’re not sure) and a third disagreed (you don’t feel you can influence). Broadly, parents felt that had more influence if their child was in nursery than in secondary school

3. Homework

Last time we asked about homework, we revealed the difference between parents who are teachers and parents who are not.

This time we asked the question slightly differently and noticed that homework is more popular if you have secondary-aged children (60% in favour) than primary ones (42%). Those of you with one child were also bigger fans of homework (52%) compared to those with three or more children (41%). 

When it arrives, what homework is being done? It depends if your child is in primary school or secondary school, so here’s the top 5 for each:

Top 5 homework’s primary

1. Reading

2. Spelling

=3. Times tables / worksheet

4. Online exercises

5. Project work

Top 5 homework’s secondary

1. Worksheet

2. Online exercises

3. Continuing a task started in class

=4. Project work / Practice exam questions / Writing an essay

5. Reading

And also… The ‘rule of 6’ at Christmas

For many of you, the ‘rule of 6’ will have a pretty negative effect on Christmas, hitting hardest those with very young children and those with bigger families. 

Looking specifically at Christmas dinner, last year the number of people round the table was spread pretty evenly between 3 and 10+ but looking ahead to this Christmas, it seems that there will be fewer big celebrations, with only a  small number of families planning to break the rules.

How many people did you / will you eat Christmas dinner with?

Coming up next week

Lots of next week’s questions have been suggested by our new Facebook Group. If you’d like to join the group and get exclusive analysis and the opportunity to suggest questions, you can join here.

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