## If schools were to close

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Parents and guardians of school going children were asked a series of questions about the possible closure of schools in the coming academic year. Parents and guardians of primary school children were asked how their work pattern would be affected and how concerned they are about providing adequate support with home learning.

Parents and guardians of both primary and secondary school students were asked how concerned they were about their children’s school providing adequate support for home learning and a series of questions about the suitability of their dwelling for home learning.

## More than one in two employed parents and guardians of primary school children reported that their work pattern may be affected by a school closure

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Employed parents and guardians of primary school children were asked how their work pattern would be affected in the event of their children’s school closing at some time in the coming academic year.  Respondents could answer “No effect”, “Could work from home”, “Take holidays/unpaid leave”, “May have to give up work” and “Don’t know”. Respondents could give more than one answer.

More than one in two (56.1%) of those responding to this question said their work pattern would be affected compared to 17.4% who said it would not be affected and 26.5% who did not know.  See Table 4.1.

Almost one in three (32.1%) parents and guardians of primary school children who were asked this question indicated that they Could work from home if their children’s school had to close in the coming academic year.  One in five (20.6%) could Take holidays or unpaid leave while 12.5% May have to give up work altogether.  See Figure 4.1

The potential effects of school closures on work patterns of parents and guardians of primary school children vary between men and women.  More than one in four (27.3%) male respondents to this question said there would be No effect on their work pattern.  This drops to 12.4% for female respondents.  Less than one in twenty (3.9%) male respondents to this question said they May have to give up work whereas the corresponding figure for females is more than four times higher at 16.9%.

X-axis label Could Work From Home Male Female 32.8 31.74 21.4 29.1 20.8 20.6 3.9 16.9 27.3 12.4

## Almost one in three respondents who are parents or guardians of Leaving Cert pupils report being Extremely concerned about schools providing adequate supports for home learning

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Parents and guardians of primary and secondary school children were asked how concerned they were about their children’s school providing adequate supports for home learning in the event of school closure. Respondents could answer “Not at all”, “Somewhat”, “Very” or “Extremely”.

Almost three in ten (29.7%) respondents who are parents or guardians of Leaving Cert pupils reported being Extremely concerned about their children’s school providing adequate supports to cover the Leaving Certificate syllabus if the school had to close.  This decreases to 14.6% for the Junior Certificate syllabus and 13.0% for primary school pupils.  Tables 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 & Figure 4.2.

More than two in ten (23.2%) respondents who are parents or guardians of primary pupils reported not being concerned at all about their children’s school providing adequate supports for home learning if the school had to close. This drops to 7.6% for parents and guardians of junior cert pupils and 2.3% for Leaving Cert pupils.

X-axis label Not at all Somewhat Primary Junior Cert Leaving Cert 23.24 7.59 2.34 38.78 40.25 24.49 24.95 37.52 43.51 13.04 14.64 29.66

## More than one in five respondents who are parents or guardians of primary children report being Extremely concerned about their own ability to provide support with home learning

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Parents and guardians of primary school children were asked how concerned they were about providing adequate support with home learning for their children (e.g. helping with homework) if schools were to close in the coming academic year.  Respondents could answer “Not at all”, “Somewhat”, “Very” or “Extremely”.

More than one in five (21.5%) respondents who are parents or guardians of primary school children reported being Extremely concerned about providing adequate home learning support for their children if the school had to close. Parents and guardians of senior primary children (from second to sixth class), are more likely to be Extremely concerned. Almost a quarter of these respondents (23.1%) reported being Extremely concerned compared to 18.8% of parents and guardians of junior primary children (from junior infants to first class).   See Table 4.5 and Figure 4.3.

X-axis label Not at all Junior Primary Senior Primary 19.5 13.46 36.78 34.3 24.95 29.12 18.78 23.12

## Primary school children are less likely to have a suitable device for home learning

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Parents and guardians of primary and secondary school children were asked a series of questions around the suitability of the home environment for home learning.  Respondents were asked if each child had a quiet place to study, a suitable device for learning (e.g. a laptop or tablet) and if broadband speed was adequate for home learning.  Respondents could answer “Yes” or “No”.

The majority (85.2%) of respondents reported that each child in the household had a quiet place to study.  More than eight in ten (87.0%) respondents with secondary school children reported having a quiet place for each child to study.  This drops slightly to 82.5% for respondents with primary school pupils.  See Table 4.6 and Figure 4.4.

Almost eight in ten (78.5%) respondents with secondary school pupils reported that each child had a suitable device for home learning compared to 71.9% of respondents with primary school pupils.

Almost nine out of ten (87.7%) respondents who are parents or guardians reported having adequate broadband speed to support home learning.

X-axis label With adequate broadband speed Primary Children Secondary Children 88.8 88.4 82.5 87 71.9 78.5

Respondents who are parents or guardians of primary or secondary school children located in rural areas are more than seven times likely to have issues with broadband speed.  More than one in four (28.8%) respondents with primary or secondary children located in rural areas did not have adequate broadband speed to support home learning.  This drops to 3.9% for those respondents located in urban areas.  See Figures 4.5 and 4.6.

 Rural 28.8 71.2
 Urban 3.9 96.1

## Detailed Results

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Table 4.1 How work patterns may be affected in the event of school closure by demographic, household and other characteristics, August 2020

Table 4.2 Concern for primary school providing adequate home learning support if closed by demographic, school cycle and geographic characteristics, August 2020

Table 4.3 Concern for secondary school providing adequate home learning support for Junior cert if closed by demographic, school cycle and geographic characteristics, August 2020

Table 4.4 Concern for secondary school providing adequate home learning support for Leaving cert if closed by demographic, school cycle and geographic characteristics, August 2020

Table 4.5 Concern for parent/guardian providing adequate home learning support if primary school closed by demographic, school cycle and other characteristics, August 2020

Table 4.6 Home study environment by demographic, school cycle and other characteristics, August 2020

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