Inequalities in home learning: Provisions by school type
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.
The focus of this report is the provisions that schools provided to support learning from home, and what parents thought about them. The initial results are based primarily on parents’ responses to the question “Please tell us whether your child’s school provided any of the following?”, with the following options: written instructions, recorded voices, videos, interaction with teachers, interaction with peers, alternatives for those without internet, different tasks for those who need them, opportunity to submit work, a schedule for pupils to follow, feedback on their work, different materials for all subjects. We also asked how frequently the materials were updated, the proportion of the materials provided by schools that were created by the schools and by an organisation outside of the school (such as Oak academy) and whether the materials improved over time.
This report reveals staggering differences in the provisions offered in state and private education. Independent schools for children of all ages were much more likely to provide opportunities for interactive learning and feedback on work than state schools. These provisions are essential for learning and development so their relative absence among state schools’ provisions highlights a concerning inequality that could put state school pupils’ learning and socioemotional development at risk. Our findings also revealed that, in general, secondary schools offered more, and more frequently updated, materials than primary schools did.
Provisions by school type: Primary and Secondary
In general, secondary schools provided pupils with more provisions than primary schools. Most notably, secondary schools were much more likely to provide opportunities to interact with teachers, submit homework and receive feedback on their work.
Secondary schools were more likely to create their own materials and to update them daily than primary schools.
Parents of primary school children were more likely to receive regular contact (at least weekly) from school staff than secondary parents.
Independent and State
State schools (55%) were more likely to provide alternatives for those without access to the internet than independent schools (45%). Most state schools (51%) updated their materials weekly, whereas the vast majority of independent schools (84%) updated them daily or more than once a day. 51% of independent schools created all their own materials compared to just 15% of state schools.
The materials provided by independent schools improved to a greater extent than those provided by state schools. 71% of independent school parents reported that the materials had got better over time compared to just 52% of state school parents
Parents of independent school children were much more positive in their ratings of the pastoral support provided to them and their children than were state school parents. Parents of independent school children (54%) were three times more likely than parents of state school pupils (18%) to rate the support provided for their children as excellent.
Independent schools made contact with their pupils’ families more on a more frequent basis than state schools. Among independent school parents, 9% were contacted daily and 14% were contacted more than once a week. In comparison, only 1% of state school parents were contacted daily and 3% more than once a week.