Parents are being urged to pay more attention to their children

Parents in high-flying jobs are being urged to pay more attention to their children amid fears they are too busy to see them at evenings and weekends

  • There has been a demand for breakfast and after-school care over past 20 years 
  • Girls’ Schools Association wants parents to ‘take their foot off the accelerator’
  • President Sue Hincks warns ‘ambition for more funds’ might not be fulfilling 

Sue Hincks, president of the Girls’ Schools Association, urges parents to ‘take their foot off the accelerator’

Parents in high-flying jobs are increasingly too busy to see their children in the evening and at weekends, a leading private school head warns today.

Sue Hincks, president of the Girls’ Schools Association, says schools have seen an increase in demand for breakfast and after-school care over the past 20 years, while private nurseries face pressure to open at weekends.

Meanwhile, parents’ associations and Girlguiding groups are finding it hard to recruit volunteers to help out.

In a speech to the annual GSA conference today, Miss Hincks, who is head of the girls section of independent Bolton School, will say she ‘cannot fault’ those ‘dedicated’ parents who work hard to pay for school fees and provide for their children.

But she will urge them to ‘take their foot off the accelerator’, and warn how ‘ambition to have more and more funds’ and ‘consume more and more of the world’s resources’ may not ultimately be fulfilling.

There has been an increase in demand for after-school and breakfast clubs over the past 20 years and parents’ associations and Girlguiding groups are struggling to recruit volunteers, according to president of the Girls’ Schools Association (file image)

Speaking to the Mail yesterday, Miss Hincks said the problem was not just confined to private schools and is also widespread in the state sector.

She said: ‘It can be the case that when your children leave home you think “I’ve missed all these opportunities with them”. 

‘It’s a great shame where people have so much pressure in their working lives they can’t give time to families.’

Ms Hincks has warned parents how their ‘ambition to have more funds’ and to ‘consume more of the world’s resources’ may not be fulfilling (file image)

This comes just over a year after researchers at York St John University interviewed nearly 50 families from 12 primary schools in north-west England about their children’s extracurricular activities.

They found 88 per cent had activities arranged on four or five weeknights, with 58 per cent doing more than one in one evening.

This included tennis, Girl Guides and drama – and showed how extra-curricular activities are dominating family life.  

Study leader Dr Sharon Wheeler said children should not be overloaded.

‘Until a healthy balance is struck, extracurricular activities will continue to take precedence over family time, potentially doing more harm than good.’ 

 

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