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Helpline set up for parents struggling to home school their children during pandemic

PUBLISHED: 13:00 24 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:31 24 April 2020

Summer exams have been cancelled for GCSE, A-level and AS-level students in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Getty Images

Summer exams have been cancelled for GCSE, A-level and AS-level students in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Getty Images

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A helpline has been set up for parents struggling with home schooling and managing their child’s behaviour during the coronavirus crisis.

The EDP are joining up with Twinkl, an online education hub, to help parents during home schooling. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Fabio PrincipeThe EDP are joining up with Twinkl, an online education hub, to help parents during home schooling. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Fabio Principe

Starline, launched by a coalition of academy trusts and parenting groups, will offer advice to families on how to educate their children at home while schools remain closed amid the pandemic.

The service will be run by a team of teachers and education and parenting experts, who will share tips and resources to help home-learning.

They will also provide advice to parents on how to structure the day and how to deal with difficult behaviour.

Mufti Hamid Patel, chief executive of Star Academies, one of the academy trusts behind the project, said: “We understand that this is a time of additional pressure for many parents and carers.

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“The combination of working from home, caring for our loved ones and trying to educate our children is a difficult juggling act.

“Together with our partners, we want to use our educational expertise to support parents and carers who are grappling with the challenge of trying to maintain their children’s learning.”

MORE: ‘Cancel school summer holidays and get children back in class as soon as possible’

Justine Roberts, founder and CEO of Mumsnet parenting forum, said: “Lockdown learning has been a huge adjustment for all families, and for some it’s extremely challenging.

“On our forums we’re seeing thousands of discussions, covering everything from anxiety about the impacts on GCSE and A-level pupils or questions about Key Stage 1 literacy, to worries about children’s socialisation and mental health and frustration about having to make one laptop stretch between three kids.

“There’s no doubt that anxiety and stress are high in the mix, and some reassuring input from expert educators will be really valuable to frazzled and frantic parents.”

The confidential phone line will operate six days a week and it will cover all areas of the curriculum across all phases of education.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “StarLine represents another inspiring example of teachers and education experts working together to share their knowledge, resources and expertise with schools and families across the country.”


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