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A study by UCL Institute of Education (IOE) suggests that children in the UK are spending an average of 2.5 hours a day doing homework while in lockdown. The study used data from an online survey of 4,559 children from households throughout the UK in the last two weeks of April. It reveals that one fifth of pupils, the equivalent of two million children in the UK, did no schoolwork at home, or less than an hour a day, and 17% did more than four hours a day. The report also found that the amount of time being spent on schoolwork varies across regions, with pupils in London, the South and East of England and Northern Ireland receiving more offline schoolwork than anywhere else in the UK. Online teaching is most common in London, with 12.5% of children receiving four or more online lessons or meetings daily, compared with the countrywide average of 7%. The study also revealed the difference in provision in private schools versus state schools, with 31% of private schools providing four or more lessons daily, compared to just 6 per cent in state schools. Almost all school children attending private schools have access to a computer at home (97%), whereas a large proportion of children on free school meals have no access (20%). There was also a gender difference with 20% of girls putting in four or more hours work a day, compared to 14% of boys, although this is the same during normal times. Professor Francis Green who led the study said: “Everyone is losing out in this generation, some much more than others. Better home schoolwork provision, and better still an early safe return to school for as many as possible, should now become a top priority for government.” Read more here.

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