Shock report: Where were the teachers during home schooling?
Almost one in three Queensland students never interacted online with their teacher during home schooling and 41 per cent of parents fear their child learnt less during remote learning than normal, according to new data.
The Centre for Independent Studies paper - Parents' perspectives on home-based learning in the COVID-19 pandemic - published today, analyses survey results of more than 800 parents from NSW, Queensland and Victoria.
The results show that overall 41 per cent of parents think their child learnt less than normal in home-based schooling.
While 33 per cent of parents in inner-city suburbs think their child progressed slower, 45 per cent of parents in other areas thought the same.
Authors Glenn Fahey and Blaise Joseph said this was equivalent to 1.25 million students across the three states falling behind.
They use the data to advocate that schools and policymakers should be responsive to parental concerns about their children's lost learning.
Mr Fahey said the survey revealed Queensland students were less likely to have had online interactions with teachers and 30 per cent of Queensland respondents said their child never had online interaction with their teachers.
But he added that the results showed Victorian and Queensland parents heard from their schools more regularly than NSW parents did.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Queensland schools were shut for six weeks for students in Years 2-10 and four weeks for Prep, Year 1, 11 and 12.
"We don't have NAPLAN, we don't have definitive tools to tell us how many students have fallen behind so the only other place is to ask parents," Mr Fahey said.
He said data showed more needed to be done developing effective partnerships between schools and parents, adding that parents often felt shut out of the process, so it came as no surprise that when asked to guide their child's learning through COVID-19, they felt unprepared.
The data also reinforced a clear urban and rural divide between educational outcomes, Mr Fahey said.
"The stark regional divide is another wakeup call there's a two-speed education system. Policymakers mustn't put their heads in the sand when it comes to addressing the very real education issues affecting the regions."
But Mr Fahey said a majority of parents now have more positive views on the major features of the school system.
"That's especially true when it comes to appreciating the role played by teachers," he said.
Originally published as Shock report: Where were the teachers during home schooling?