Understanding Parents’ experiences of home-schooling in Northern Ireland

Researchers at the UNESCO Centre, have undertaken a series of surveys to understand how parents are supporting home learning during the pandemic.


Researchers at the UNESCO Centre, Ulster University have undertaken survey of parents across Northern Ireland to understand how they are supporting their child(ren)’s home learning during the period of school closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Areas of focus

Unlike other studies in this area, this project brings together three strands, each collecting the experience of a variety of parents, with children at different stages and levels of education.

  • Parents of primary child(ren)
  • Parents of post-primary child(ren)
  • Parents of child(ren) attending a special school

The overall aim of the study is to explore the experiences and perspectives of parents of children attending primary, post-primary and special schools as they navigated and supported their child(ren)’s home learning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

More specifically, the study seeks to:

  • Establish parents’ familiarity with, and confidence in, supporting curricular learning.
  • Establish the nature and type of communication between home and school, including access to resources for teaching and learning.
  • Identify the key challenges experienced by parents in supporting their child(ren)’s learning.
  • Identify recommendations that contribute to education planning and decision-making moving forward.

The findings of this research will support parents and families, schools, educators, education bodies and policy-makers, but that it will also offer some insights to inform the shape and delivery of education in the months ahead.

Permission can be granted to other researchers who would like to use one or more of our survey instruments in another jurisdiction.

Contact Dr Una O’Connor for more details.

Read the full report

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Dr Jessica Bates

Senior Lecturer

School of Education

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