More than 70% of British parents are currently taking their children to primary school, according to the latest census figures.
However, a growing number of parents are opting to spend time at home for educational and social reasons.
The government wants to make the move more socially inclusive, which is why a pilot project in schools is looking at ways of allowing parents to spend the weekend at home to complete their schoolwork.
Read more “It’s about making sure that people who are not at home are at home at least an hour or so each day,” says Laura Smith, director of education at the Department for Education.
“We want to make sure that we are working with the local authority to make this as accessible as possible.”
“The primary school community is very supportive of this, and we know that there is some resentment from some parents, and that’s not something that we want to exacerbate,” she says.
The scheme aims to provide parents with an alternative to being home for their children.
Parents will be able to choose whether or not to spend a weekend at their home to study, and then return to work in the following school year.
“The idea is to create a model where people who want to work can be at home and not worry about whether or how they can be home,” Smith says.
“We want the community to be able feel confident that it is being inclusive, and there is a good opportunity to do that.”
It may seem like an odd idea to us, but this is the kind of thing we need to do in the short-term, so it is part of the reason why we are looking at it now.
“It’s not just for primary schools, it’s also for secondary schools and for independent schools.” “
We think this is a really good first step and that this pilot is going to go very well,” says Emma Jones, head of education for England’s primary schools.
“It’s not just for primary schools, it’s also for secondary schools and for independent schools.”
The pilot will be rolled out to the rest of the country over the next two years.
Smith says there is still a lot of work to do, and says that she hopes that the scheme can make a difference in the lives of some parents.
She says that in some ways, it will be similar to the school trip programme, where parents can visit their children at home during the summer.
“If you have a child in a class you can go with them, and they can go and see their friends and you can help them and make them feel like they are part of a family,” she explains.
While there are still some hurdles to overcome, Smith says that the pilot is a big step forward.
“One of the things we have to recognise is that we need a lot more work to be done to make it truly inclusive, but we’re making progress and we are making some progress,” she said.
“I think that is great, and I hope that it will encourage others to think about the things that they do in their own time, and to think more broadly about the kinds of things that can be done together.”
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