Coronavirus: Children in Wales 'worried' about education in pandemic

A child working from homeImage source, Getty Images

More than half of children questioned in Wales are worried about falling behind with schoolwork due to the coronavirus lockdown, a survey suggests.

While 84% of 12 to 18-year-olds said they felt safe, 54% said they were worried about their education.

Schools in Wales can partially reopen from 29 June.

Other concerns listed included missing their friends, and family members contracting the virus.

Image caption,
Children's commissioner Sally Holland conducted the survey of pupils in Wales

The survey of more than 23,000 children in Wales aged between three and 18 was conducted by the Children's Commissioner for Wales, the Welsh Government, the Welsh Youth Parliament, and Children in Wales.

Ms Holland said many children and young people who completed the survey wanted more face-to-face contact with teachers.

She said: "As the government moves on to the next phase for schools, it's really important that children and young people's schoolwork-related anxieties are eased.

"There's been a huge effort from the education profession in repurposing schools, making emergency childcare provision and keeping in contact with children. Teachers have also shown real courage in working in hubs through this crisis.

"But it's clear that many children and young people do want more support with their learning at home."

Media caption,
Coronavirus: Pupils in Wales react as schools close

Among younger children, three-quarters of Year 6 pupils said they wanted to visit their new secondary school before starting in September, while 76% said they wanted to say goodbye to their old primary school.

But many children also reported enjoying spending more time with their families.

Ms Holland said: "This unexpected intense period of several months at home, with so many parents either furloughed or working at home, has undoubtedly brought tensions and pressures to some families.

"However, very many of the children responding to our survey reflected on the pleasures of the break in usual busy routines, with families playing, eating, exercising and learning together much more than usual."

Julie Morgan, deputy minister for health and social services, said is important young voices were heard.

"The majority of children said they were worried about missing out on their education. We have listened to those views and we have acted on them," she added.