A LECTURER has raised concerns over the amount of time children are spending learning during the lockdown.

More than one in four primary school aged pupils were receiving an hour a day, and sometimes less on their education, a survey carried out by the University of Sussex found.

Meanwhile, the figure stands at more than one in six secondary school aged pupils.

But this is not the only frightening revelation to come from the study.

The Argus:

Dr Matthew Easterbrook, senior lecturer in psychology at the university and the project’s lead researcher, said the figures varied greatly depending on how financially comfortable the household is.

There was a vast gap in the results from households which were, and were not, eligible for free school meals.

Children are eligible if their parents or guardians receive financial help such as income support, child tax credit or universal credit.

Among primary school aged pupils, 36 per cent who are eligible for free school meals spend one hour or less a day on home learning.

This is compared to 25 per cent of pupils who are ineligible.

The Argus:

The gap was even greater in secondary school aged children - 25 per cent for those who were eligible and 13.5 per cent for those who were not.

Dr Easterbrook said: “Unsurprisingly, our analyses suggest that children are spending far less time on schoolwork than they would be if they were in school.

“It is particularly worrying that there are marked differences in the time that children are spending on home learning depending on whether they are primary or secondary pupils, boys or girls, the children of graduates, and how financially comfortable their household is, and, in particular, whether or not they are eligible for free school meals.

The Argus:

“The disruption to pupils’ education caused by the school closures is dramatic and could have long-term negative consequences, with some pupils receiving lower grades and becoming less engaged with school. But the consequences are likely to be different for different pupils depending on their home environment and the support they receive from the school and their parents.”

Parents across the UK were forced to try their hand at teaching as Boris Johnson announced the nation would be plunged into lockdown in March as the Government sought to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Schools were forced to close, and though some pupils have recently been allowed to return a full reopening is not planned until the beginning of the autumn term.