In this report, we focused on the following issues:
- Parent/carer report on their own and their children’s feelings around attending school
- Parent/carer report on their and their children’s specific concerns relating to attending school
- Around half of participating parents do not feel comfortable about their children going back to school.
- The most common concerns among parents/carers are that their child will be upset by, or won’t understand the need for, social distancing and that their child will either catch or transmit COVID-19.
- Parents of children with SEN/ND are particularly uncomfortable about their children attending school, as are parents who do not work, and those with lower incomes.
- Particular concerns for parents of children with SEN/ND are that their child will not get the emotional, behavioural and educational support that they need, or the support they need with transitions to different groups/classes
- Parents who do not work appear to be particularly concerned about their child being upset by, or not understanding the need for, social distancing, and that their child will either catch or transmit COVID-19.
- Parents on lower incomes appear to be particularly concerned about their child being upset by the need to social distance, or catching COVID-19, and being forced to do something that doesn’t work for their family.
- Only a minority of children and young people are perceived by their parents/carers to not feel comfortable attending school.
- Parents/carers perceive their children to be most concerned about things being different or uncertain and the enjoyable aspects of school not happening. Other worries relate to friendships and social distancing.
- While primary school-aged children appear to be concerned about being away from home and transitions, secondary school-aged children appear to be more concerned about catching Covid-19 and academic pressures.
- Parents/carers of children with SEN/ND or a pre-existing mental health difficulty, in particular, report that their children are not comfortable about attending school.
- Parents of children with SEN/ND or a pre-existing mental health difficulty report that their children are particularly concerned about things being uncertain or different, changes to routine, the enjoyable parts of school not happening, and being away from home.