Imagine a promising young footballer gets a transfer to the best club in the world and immediately starts playing poorly. His reason? He doesn’t need to try as hard as before because his new teammates are good enough to cover his shortcomings. As improbable as this logic might sound, new academic research in England has suggested parents are guilty of the same error when it comes to their children’s education. Tes reports.
The study links poor exam performance by pupils who attend highly rated schools with parents reducing their level of academic support they give to their children. The researchers have discovered that an unexpectedly good Ofsted inspector’s report can lead to mums and dads sitting back and helping less with homework, by a considerable margin.
Unfortunately, the converse does not hold true. The parents of children attending a school that has suffered a bad inspector’s report don’t spend long hours working with their children to fill in the gaps and help prepare them for exams. In fact, they don’t change the level of support at all.
It is perfectly understandable why parents cut back on helping with homework when they find out they have struck it lucky with the school they have sent their kids to, because there is nothing more fraught than homework time.
After working long hours and coming home to make dinner, the next stage of the evening is to nag truculent teenagers into attending to the assignments prescribed by a teacher who is blissfully unaware of the pain they have inflicted on both parent and child (but more on the parent).
Therefore, it can be no surprise that parents down tools when they discover that a team of inspectors has rated their children’s school highly. And, while research has shown that successful students have strong support from involved parents, homework is a major cause of stress for teens and can lead to tension in families.
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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