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‘Lazy and busy’ parents mean children start school unprepared says Welsh head teacher

10 Mar 2022 3 minute read
Child’s hand. Picture by Pixabay

“Lazy and busy” parents can mean that children start school unprepared, lacking basic skills such as toilet training, according to a headteacher of a rural Welsh school quizzed as part of a YouGov survey.

A report by YouGov, ‘School readiness: qualitative and quantitative research with teaching professionals’, found that half of all children starting school across the UK are “not ready” to do so.

One of the case studies carried out as part of a survey were two rural Welsh primary schools that had a single headteacher.

The headteacher said that he believed that it was parents responsibility to ensure their child is school ready but that more and more now expected the school to do basics such as toilet training.

He expected the children to be able to interact with their peers, take turns, stay awake, sit and listen to stories and have some grasp of colours, basic Welsh words, counting and grouping objects, he said.

“Parents can be lazy and busy. It is a shame as children may miss out,” they said.

“It is rare they now read to them every night. There was a lack of engagement for home learning from some parents.”

He added: “They have had less of a routine this year [due to Covid] – they are not as familiar with the school routine.

“They haven’t developed the skills to focus. They don’t have as much speech, they have more attachment issues, they cry a lot….”

‘Not ready’

Working in partnership with early years organisation Kindred2, YouGov surveyed almost 1,000 school teachers and conducted one-to-one interviews about their experiences in 2021.

Some teachers told researchers that “the majority” of their pupils were now developmentally far behind expectations for their age group. Examples included children not being toilet trained, struggling to socialise and express themselves and being unable to understand basic instructions.

88% of teachers and teaching assistants said that they were having to spend additional time with those not reaching their developmental milestones, leaving them less time for the rest of the children in their class.

A teacher in Wales questioned as part of the research said: “Children are not coming to school ready and therefore more needs to be put in place to support parents to get their children school ready.

“Schools also need extra support with the children as resources are so stretched that they are struggling to meet all the needs of the children.”

Another teacher from Wales, asked about the pressure of having to give children extra support, said: “It takes time away from other children.

“Not just within the class time but outside of this time too, preparing extra resources and seeking further support from other professionals and reading ideas and strategies that have worked for others.”


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Erisian
Erisian
6 months ago

I used to feel the same way about graduates joining my engineering team

Valerie
Valerie
6 months ago

When my mother married, women were required to stay home and not work outside the home. She had time to give full attention to her family, their welfare and education. Now Women are supposed to do two jobs, work and attend to the families every need.So ‘Equality’ means no such thing!It is little wonder some find it Impossible to achieve the perfection expected from her.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
6 months ago
Reply to  Valerie

You seem to be advocating for the complete opposite of the rights women battled for decades for. Equality means women can go to work and build a career and men can get off their a**e and help out with the kids they are responsible for instead of just leaving it to the women to deal with while the ae stuck at home all day. This is just parents expecting schools to do the most basics parenting for them.

huwdavies
huwdavies
6 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

You are right. One example I frequently see is a kid not potty trained because dad & mum are “too busy” to wean him/her off those disposable nappies which are the ultimate convenience and difficult to wean parents off them too !

Kath White
Kath White
6 months ago
Reply to  Valerie

Those days are, sadly, long gone. However, women and men should now jointly share the responsibilities.

Grayham Jones
6 months ago

A lot of parents need a kick up the back side they are not living in the real world

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
6 months ago

This news makes one wonder why couples want to do the Career thing and the Parenting thing together. Surely, unless one has a seriously large income and can afford to buy in help it would make sense to choose either one option or the other. My neice and her partner have gone for Parenting and he stays at home and looks after kids whie she goes off and does the career thing. They seem to like it.

Rebecca
Rebecca
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Because a single salary is rarely enough to support an entire family these days. Most people cannot afford to have a stay at home parent. Wages have not increased in line with cost of living and its masked by the fact most family units are now expected to have two incomes. So for many families that choice might lead to more direct parental attention but also food and fuel insecurity and greater risk of poverty. Which are ALSO associated with poor developmental outcomes. Then we’d be getting comments about how parents need to be financially stable and how dare one… Read more »

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
6 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Surely, the real question is why folk want to launch into an expensive activity (parenting) when they know that they cannot afford it on the wages they earn. Parenting is a choice and sometimes one has to decide that one course of action is not sensible.

Bonnie
Bonnie
6 months ago

Do they not think 2 years of being stuck at home, possibly as an only child, could actually have similar effects to what they are describing? As for parents being too lazy and too busy. Pick one. 30 years ago a nuclear family was more common, there was help from the wider family to care for children. Even with both parents present in the traditional setting, both more then likely have to work. With all of this, they expect children to be able to do more, learn faster and be fully rounded human beings at 4 years of age! The… Read more »

Alex Hamish
Alex Hamish
6 months ago

30 years ago there would be more probability of a parent being at home to deal with the basics and encourage a child’s routine going into school, now most married couples like me and my wife work 60 hour weeks with overtime most weekends, that is what is expected of all adults since the cultural Revolution of the left, I don’t know what world teachers live in but they are expected to teach kids to read, write and understand Welsh, they draw quite generous salaries with good golden hello and goodbye benefits, let’s not forget the time off👍

David
David
6 months ago

Teachers passing the blame again… This is coming from the same people who didn’t contact kids throught most of lockdown, especially kids with additional needs. Also the same teachers that give very little homework these days… It’s too easy to blame parents for schools downfalls. Next they’ll be blaming the exam system is unfair… Even though the grades are marked by the teachers themselves… Oh wait… That did happen!?!

Amy Lee Jones
Amy Lee Jones
6 months ago

What a horrible article!! With everything that’s gone on, this is what the headteacher had to say.

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