'Teachers should be paid £1m a year': Parents discover home-schooling is harder than it looks

Victoria Bell
·3-min read
Mother helping son with homework
Mother helping son with homework

With the coronavirus closing schools in Italy, France and the US, many British parents are also opting to keep their children at home – and even taking on the challenge of teaching them.

And people attempting to homeschool their children for the first time have been posting online about their newfound appreciation for the people who normally do the job day in, day out.

Roger MacGinty, a professor at Durham University, tweeted: "I am 30 minutes into home schooling my 6 year old. I suggest that all school teachers are paid £1m per year from now on.”

His tweet has been shared over 25,000 times, and led many other people to share their own home-schooling woes.

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Rachel Greaves replied: "Agreed. 6yo and 9yo home today. I now remember what an isosceles triangle is; boats were designed, built, decorated and floated; three whole sentences were written and illustrated; a few arguments and a few more muttered swears under my breath. I’m tired."

Joe Plant wrote: "I knocked up a timetable this morning. 30 mins yoga (thanks YouTube) followed by an hour of math. Went brilliantly.

"The subsequent lesson of writing however has become lego building & I'm now trying to do some work whilst critiquing lego dogs. Lunchtime will be 3 hrs."

Another frustrated mother moaned: "It takes my child 20 minutes to write one word. Hours for me to recover."

Responding directly to MacGinty's original Tweet, one user agreed that teachers are undervalued, and underpaid for what they do.

An empty classroom is seen at a closed school in Paris, Monday, March 16, 2020. France plans to close all creches, schools and universities from Monday until further notice to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, President Emmanuel Macron says. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
An empty classroom is seen at a closed school in Paris on Monday. (AP)

The user wrote: "Teaching 25-35 students in one classroom.

Read more: 'It's surreal': US schools and colleges close because of coronavirus

"Providing supplies for 20-25 of those students, providing snacks daily, teaching hygiene, building self esteem, communication, compassion, empathy and understanding.

"On $35,000 a year."

British lawmaker Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education arrives in Downing Street for a Cabinet meeting ahead of the budget being announced in Parliament in London, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will announce the first budget since Britain left the European Union. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Gavin Williamson, here ahead of the budget being announced in Parliament in London says that schools should send home pupils who have a continuous cough or fever.(AP)

On Monday, UK education secretary Gavin Williamson announced that schools should send home pupils who have a continuous cough or fever.

Information from the government says all educational settings should remain open unless directly advised to close by Public Health England, despite mounting anger from parents.

Earlier on Monday morning on LBC, Professor Jonathan Carapetis, director of the Telethon Kids Institute and a paediatrician in Perth, told James O’Brien that it is risky to close schools at this time mainly due to the fact that children are “often cared for by grandparents who are at the highest risk".