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The good, the bad and the inconvenient

If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the collective sigh of parents as the vast majority of kids return to school. Your reward of hot coffee, lights that remained switched-off and toilets that remain flushed await you… for now.

This week we’ve been checking on how parents feel about the return to school, we’ve also looked into Ofsted vs Lamborghinis, (not) eating out & washing.

But first…

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1. Covid: the good, the bad and the inconvenient

The good… Kids are back in school (for now) and everyone’s happy! Parents are happy for their children and happy for themselves. A big proportion of you are relieved too. None more so than those with preschool aged kids, who said in earlier questions that they’d suffered a particularly tough lockdown.

The bad… Nearly half of parents* are worried that they’ll have to home-school again in the near future, with 7 in 10 thinking it’s likely this academic year. Despite months of practice already, fewer than half of you think it will be better next time.

In fact, 1 in 5 parents with kids in both primary and preschool think things will be actively worse if they have to homeschool again this year!

The inconvenient… Seventy per cent of parents* told us they were working from home last week, 42% of whom used to work outside the home in the pre-Covid days. Still, at least being at home will likely help the 30% of you who’ve had to change your work routine this term due to limitations in wrap-around care &/or sports clubs.

*excluding parents who are teachers

2. Lamborghini or Ofsted?

Schools inspectorate Ofsted has said it will be visiting schools this term and has said it will write letters to parents to explain what they find – something that many school leaders are angry about.

Around half (47%) of you agreed that Ofsted should publish a letter for parents following this term’s visits, but this figure actually rises to 62% if you only look at the parents who are not qualified teachers. Only a quarter of this group thought that Ofsted should not publish a letter.

BUT, like Eddie Izzard’s famous ‘cake or death’ sketch, this is what Parent Ping CEO Laura McInerney calls a ‘Lamborghini problem.’ She explains, “if you ask someone do they want a Lamborghini, they will say yes, but it doesn’t necessarily mean giving everyone a Lamborghini is a good idea for a government policy”. So, did we offer you a Lamborghini? Look out for more Ofsted questions next week so we can explore more!

This term, Ofsted will be visiting schools to understand how they are returning to their normal curriculum. Do you think they should publish a letter for parents following these visits?

3. (Not) eating out

Following last week’s Parent Ping revelation that few families took advantage of August’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ offers, we wondered what makes it so tricky to eat in a restaurant with your family?

Although most of you agree that there are barriers (only 23% said there aren’t any), what those barriers are depends a lot on the type of family…

🔵 For those with more than 2 children, cost is the biggest barrier

🔵 Dads are more concerned than mums about finding a child-friendly restaurant and getting the children to behave

🔵 For those with a pre-school age child, keeping them entertained is the biggest barrier.

Given that pre-schoolers can be particularly hard to entertain, it was somewhat surprising that this is the group least likely to be entertained by a mobile / tablet device whilst the family waits for food at a restaurant. Or could it just be because parents can’t bear another episode of Peppa Pig!

And also

Parent Pingers did over 2,000 loads of laundry last week! Parents with both pre-schoolers and primary-aged kids did the most (half do over 5 washes a week) whilst a chilled-out 27% of dads told us ‘someone else deals with the washing’ (compared to just 5% of mums) 🙄

When it comes to hoovering, more Parent Pingers reported that someone else deals with the hoovering than the laundry (and this time it was an even number of mums and dads!) and there was a much closer consensus that this is a chore done once or twice a week. However, we must give a shout out to the 5 people who told us they hoover more than 10 times a week 😱

Coming up next week

Coming up this week we’ve got questions on playdates, masks and names. We’ve also got some great tips lined-up for you, but our stocks are running a bit low so if you come across a short piece that you think other parents would like to read / watch / listen to please let us know here or drop us an email.

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