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Parents in dark about kids' school life

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Becta has warned that a three-way communication breakdown between schools, parents and kids could have a harmful affect on individuals’ educational performance.

Unsurprisingly the UK government’s technology agency, which published a new report today, was keen to underline what it sees as the importance of IT in the classroom to help improve parent dialogue with their children.

Becta surveyed 1,000 school kids aged seven to 14 and 1,000 parents to find out the level of ill communication that existed between adults and children when it comes to talking about school.

It found more than a third (37 per cent) of kids had difficulty speaking to their parents about their education, while 43 per cent of parents questioned admitted they struggled to get information from their child about their school day.

According to the Oh, Nothing Much report, eight in ten parents confessed they didn’t know as much about their kids' day at school as they would like.

Becta said that only 16 per cent of children who took part in the survey had shared information with their parents about their school activities.

Three in ten parents admitted they felt “excluded” from their children’s day-to-day education because of their reluctance to talk to their parents about school life.

Nearly a quarter of children felt like their parents “were hassling” them to dish the dirt on what goes on at school.

Becta warned such tension between parents and their kids could affect educational performance and added that technology could play a vital role in breaking down the communication barrier.

The report also revealed 82 per cent of parents want schools to do more when it comes to keeping them informed about their kids' progress.

Becta wheeled out child psychologist Professor Tanya Byron to comment on how communication between parents, kids and schools could be improved with the use of technology.

"This report highlights how fundamental positive communication within and after school hours can help raise attainment and build a child's sense of self-worth," said Byron.

She called on "the harnessing" of technologies that "enable seamless communication between school and home" to make a schoolkid's day a more collaborative experience in which the parent plays a key role.

"By involving children in after-school communication that is fun, relaxed, open and well timed, we can all help them to maximise their academic potential and enjoy their school and further education years," Byron said. ®

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