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  • Writer's pictureMatt Easterbrook

Inequalities in Home Learning: Amount of materials used

Executive Summary

These results are based on analyses of the final sample of 5528 responses collected between 5th May and 31st July. Of these, 2075 responses were from teachers and 3409 from parents of school-aged children in the UK. The results in this report are based on the responses of parents.

Download the full report here:

Research Report #2_MaterialsUsed
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The focus of this report is on inequalities in home learning experiences between pupils eligible for free school meals and those not eligible for free school meals. We first replicate the findings from Report #1 but using the complete final sample. The results are based primarily on parents’ responses to the question “Overall, how much of the material provided by the school was your child using?”.

Our results show marked differences in the amount of materials children used depending on whether they are primary or secondary pupils, eligible for free school meals, boys or girls, the children of graduates, and how financially comfortable their household is. Our results imply that the education of specific groups of pupils is likely to have been particularly disrupted by school closures, and that these groups are likely to need additional support to avoid any long-term negative impact of the school closures on their educational outcomes.

Overall time spent on home learning for primary and secondary school pupils.

  • 24% of primary school children engaged with all of the materials provided compared with 41% of their secondary school peers.

Inequalities by gender.

  • At both primary and secondary levels, girls were more likely than boys to have used all materials provided.

Inequalities between key worker and non-key worker parents.

  • The differences between pupils who have at least one parent who is a key worker and those who don’t are minimal.

Inequalities by pupils’ eligibility for free school meals.

  • In secondary schools, pupils who were eligible for free school meals (FSM) were more than three times as likely to have engaged with none of the provided materials (17%) as non-FSM eligible pupils (5%). Only a quarter of FSM-eligible secondary school pupils (24%) engaged with all of the materials, compared with 44% of their non-FSM eligible peers.

  • These figures suggest that home learning may have exacerbated the existing attainment gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and those not eligible, and that the increase in the gap caused by the school closures may be larger in secondary schools than primary schools.

Inequalities by family financial situation.

  • There are inequalities based on parents’ self-reported financial situation, with pupils of parents who are financially comfortable tending to use more of the provided materials than pupils whose parents are financially struggling. However, these results are quite complex and not always linear.

Inequalities between graduate and non-graduate parents.

  • There were only slight differences in material use at the primary stage, but these became more apparent among secondary pupils.

  • At the secondary level, 11% of pupils without graduate parents used none of the materials provided compared with just 4% of children with graduate parents. 36% of pupils of non-graduates used all materials in comparison to 45% of children with graduate parents.

Download the full report here:

Research Report #2_MaterialsUsed
Download PDF • 535KB

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