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The legacy of fathers’ involvement in their children’s education during the Covid-19 lockdowns

Researchers in Education Studies at the University of Warwick are running a project about fathers’ involvement in their children’s education, with a focus on the legacy of home-schooling during the Covid-19 lockdowns. We want to find out from dads how being involved in home-schooling during the lockdowns might have influenced their involvement now - and what the barriers may have been to continuing that involvement since Covid restrictions have passed.

We are conducting (short, online) interviews with fathers in the UK who were involved in home-schooling their primary-school aged child/children during a Covid-19 lockdown.

Please read on for some more information and, if you are interested in taking part, email

There’s not a great deal of research about fathers’ involvement in their children’s education, and our aim is that by gathering fathers’ views we can provide guidance to schools and other organisations. We believe that schools will benefit from knowing more about how fathers are involved in their children’s education/schooling, and whether being involved more during Covid lockdowns has made any difference to that.


In spring and early summer of 2020 during the first Covid-19 lockdown, the closure of school buildings meant that millions of parents had to combine home-schooling with their own paid and household work. This challenging and unique situation presented many dads with the chance to be involved first-hand in their children’s schoolwork and wider education. It was therefore an opportunity to understand more about fathers’ involvement in their children’s education - so we set up an online survey.

In May and June 2020 we gathered 68 responses from fathers involved in the home-schooling of their primary-school aged children. Many of these dads described the experience as ‘stressful’ or ‘frustrating’, but almost all agreed that it had helped them bond with their children. It was also very common for these fathers to feel they now understood more about the schoolwork their children are expected to do. These dads’ responses reveal a varied picture shaped by different work patterns and family responsibilities, different approaches from their children’s school to support parents, and a mixture of confidence and success levels in engaging their children in home learning.

You can also read a brief overview of our research findings and related opinion in this Dad Blog UK postLink opens in a new window.

Our findings from the survey in 2020 prompt some important questions about the legacy of this home-schooling experience, such as: To what extent has it altered or shaped fathers’ ongoing involvement in their children’s education? What has helped or hindered dads' involvement? This is why we’re now conducting interviews with fathers, four years on.

If you are interested in sharing your experiences and views on this, please consider taking part in an interview for this project. Please email

Thanks for your interest and support,

Dr Mark Pulsford