New research has revealed Yorkshire school children are struggling to cope with the pressures of school, with pupils as young as four feeling stressed, unhappy and frustrated.
The survey by TP Toys of 1,000 parents casts a shocking light on the effect of school demands with nearly half (43%) of parents thinking schools put too much pressure on their children.
A third of Leeds parents feel schools expect too much from them when it comes to helping with homework at home, as well as a worrying nearly 40 per cent (38%) believe their child is struggling with the amount of homework they get.
A concerning three in 10 parents agree that homework has a negative impact on their children’s mental health with 1 in 5 of Yorkshire’s pupils losing sleep over school pressures.
Furthermore, almost 90 per cent (88%) of Yorkshire parents who took part in the survey said there has been an increase in mental health and wellbeing issues in children compared to when they were younger. The most common reason for this is cited as homework and exam pressures.
Parents reveal that before undertaking homework tasks, children are bored (32%), stressed (24%) and unhappy (21%). Once completing homework, as well as many feeling relieved (34%), some children still feel frustrated (4%). A shocking 14 per cent of Leeds parents even experience aggression towards them whilst helping their child undertake the task set by schools.
The research comes just as Ofsted has announced that its inspectors will not assess how homework is being done under new framework, it states schools should decide whether or not they set it for their pupils.
Homework-overload preventing development
The survey asked parents about their primary concerns of school pressures with many worrying about personal development, added stress and family time. Nearly two thirds (61%) think their child’s school focusses too much on exam results rather than individual learning and a further 36 per cent think schools expect too much from parents when it comes to helping with homework.
The large quantity of homework a child is set is also impacting social development with over 30 per cent (31%) of parents stating this prevents their children playing outside with friends. A further 29 per cent agree that their child struggles with the amount of homework they are set.
Parents in Yorkshire class exploratory play (37%) and learning from friends and family (47%) as some of the best ways their child learns and that a lot of their children’s homework is pointless (40%).
While 86 per cent of parents are spending up to four hours a week helping their kids with schoolwork, only 53 per cent are spending the same amount of quality time together.
Linda Grandson, an ex-Head Teacher of 35 years, comments on appropriate levels of homework:
“Play is a child’s work, it is where they can let off steam, allow their imagination to create freely, solve problems with uninterrupted repetition, develop gross motor skills, sit quietly alone observing nature and much, more so after a day at school where specific focus has been required it is essential to ensure that children have undirected, uninterrupted free time.”
Guy Orr, Director at TP Toys at TP Toys comments on the research, “As a toy company we understand the importance of outdoor play and believe it is vital in order for a child to thrive. We’ve been developing toys for well over half a century and always strive for engaging products that are also socially interactive and help children get the most of their playtime.”