Parents struggle with homework

25th August 2006 at 01:00
Many parents have such a weak grasp of maths and English that they do not trust themselves to help their children with homework, a survey found this week.

Nearly one in five said they were regularly surprised by the difficulty of the work their children took home to complete.

And 69 per cent said they would spend more time helping with their children's homework if they were more confident in their own abilities.

The findings are based on a survey for the Government of 2,000 parents with children aged 15 and under in April.

Margaret Morrissey, from the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations, said: "Parents' biggest problem is not that they can't find the answer, but not understanding how things are being taught. And why should they? Every time parents start to understand the curriculum the Government changes it."

Phil Hope, skills minister, said there were hundreds of free courses around the country to help adults brush-up their maths and English.

"As a dad I'm fully aware of what a difference it can make to be able to help your children, so I call on all parents to think about whether they could benefit from improving their skills a little more," he said.

More than nine out of 10 parents surveyed agreed that helping children at home makes a difference to their academic achievements at school.

Over half - 53 per cent - said they helped their children with homework "every day".

According to government figures, 5.2 million adults lack the English skills expected of a 14-year-old. And 14.9m would be unable to match a typical 14-year-old at maths.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today