This is the first in a series of posts based on the results of our survey of KBF supporters. The three key findings in the area of education are:
- The vast majority of parents think it is safe for their children to return to school
- Of those who think it is unsafe virtually all concerns relate to the impact of the measures taken by the government/schools (only one was concerned about Covid itself)
- As a result of the measures taken (and the experience of home schooling earlier this year) there could be a significant increase in home schooling.
5,416 people took part between Tuesday 15th and Monday 21st August 2020. A quarter of respondents said they were KBF members, half followed KBF on social media or used the KBF web site, a quarter did not follow KBF. There was a good spread of occupations. The largest job groups are shown below (each with at least 300 respondents):
- Health, Nursing, Medical Care
- Hospitality and Personal Services
- Finance, Property, Law
41% of survey respondents had children ranging from pre-school to university age. The largest proportion were of school age (31%, 1,652 respondents). 82% of this group had home schooled in the past five months.
Whilst the majority (73%) wanted their children to go back to school, 5% had already been home schooling their children in January and 8% planned to home school in the future. A further 14% would like to home school but felt it would be difficult to do so due to work. This suggests the number of people who are home schooling could double and has potential to quadruple.
94% thought it was safe for children to return to school, 81% saying it was perfectly safe, 6% not safe (96 respondents).
50 of those saying it was not safe 6% gave comments related to going back to school. 38 comments suggested their concerns were driven by the measures, of which 13 said they were concerned about the psychological impact of the measures on children. Only one respondent was concerned about covid and a potential second wave (11 gave other comments).
The survey report was submitted to the House of Lords committee on Life Post Covid on August 31st. The report stated:
“People are not stupid. Many are astute and well informed. Many avoid the BBC and mainstream media, going direct to sources such as the ONS and scientific papers. They increasingly recognise that they are being tricked by behavioural scientists with decisions being taken by narrow experts who are too far removed from the people they are paid to serve. It feels as if these experts treat the people with contempt.
The need to restore democracy and put a halt to the measures in place is immediate. The future people want is one where normal social contact can be resumed, with the joy restored to life.”
A selection of quotes from the report are given below.
I will publish further extracts here and announce these on my twitter feed @TheGoodStatsMan #TheGoodStatistician.
The majority want the children to have a normal educational experience.
Children need to go back to school, but the normality they were used to. I feel all these ridiculous restrictions will only have a massive impact on their mental health and social skills.
Female, 35-44, Counsellor, KBF Member
Children need to be in school & not some sterile environment that seems to be a school. They need to socialise & have fun! They are our future & at the moment we’re failing them.
Female, 35-44, Marketing Manager, KBF Follower
I expect my children to be able to enjoy a normal schooling free from reduced classes, reduced play and restricted lessons.
Male, 45-54, Sales Manager, KBF Member
I want my kids to go to school for the social interaction and to be taught by a professional, I’m also a single mum and so can’t home school and work. However, I do not support mask wearing, testing or fearmongering in schools and so will look at alternatives if the school puts in measures that make my children feel unsafe and mentally abused.
Female, 45-54, HR, KBF Follower
Some are going to start home schooling…and more may start if measures persist.
Schools must be as they were. If masks, social distancing, or any other unnecessary measures that will impact on the mental wellbeing of my children are enforced they will be withdrawn and we will home school.
Male, 35-44, Firefighter, KBF Follower
Regards to schools it’s not the virus that concerns me but the fact the Coronavirus Act 2020 states that children can be tested and removed then detained for up to 14 days.
Female, 35-44. KBF Follower
I would home school but my daughter is almost 16 and wants to be at school. I’m not concerned about her return to school, apart from the worry that if someone decides she’s unwell then she can be carted off to a quarantine facility, without my knowledge or consent.
Female, 35-44, Senior Management, KBF Follower
This is the problem. My children were looking forward to school but they have told me that they don't want to: Socially distance, not mix with children outside their age group, forgo practical activities, wear masks, have to be tested, wash their hands obsessively, not be able to cuddle their friends. So until the Government return everything back to as it was, they will unlikely return.
Female, 45-54, Project Manager, KBF Member
I class schools as unsafe because the emergency legislation states they can take our children from school. She will stay with me until the truth comes out. I am not worried about Covid 19 because it doesn't exist.
Female, 45-54, Sales, KBF Member
My son was in year 6 and looking forward to starting secondary school this September. After everything I know now about the schools and our government I do not trust them, so I have decided to home school my son but this has nothing to do with the FLU!!
Female, 35-44, KBF Member
I will not be sending my two children back to school, I have no trust in schools and what the government will get them doing next, I am not in fear of covid 19, just the draconian measures that governments are [imposing] on our people.
Female, 45-54, KBF Member
I am going to home school not because of covid 19 at all. We don’t worry about that because the survival rate is 99.7% or so. So it is less than flu!!!! My child is not returning to school because he is much happier and flourishing at home with home education. It highlighted to me how bad the school education actually is.
Female, 45-54, Practitioner, KBF Follower