Image credit: @awcreativeut via Unsplash

Since COVID-19 forced nationwide school closures, parents have needed to brush up on their school knowledge to help tutor their children at home. A @ClarksShoes survey of over 1,000 UK parents, combined with analysis of @Google search trends, reveals all about the lockdown homeschooling experience.

Commissioned by Clarks, the survey found that the most enjoyable subjects for parents to teach are maths (49%), English (43%), history (27%), science (26%), and art (25%). Despite being deemed enjoyable, some of these subjects have also been challenging. Nearly a third of those surveyed said maths has been the most difficult to teach, followed by English (17%), science (15%), foreign languages (12%), history (7%) and I.T. (7%).

To get help with homeschooling, over half (52%) of the nation’s parents turn to Google. Those in Brighton rely on search engines the most (82%). In fact, it’s the most commonly used homeschooling tool for parents across the UK, except for those in Sheffield, Southampton and Newcastle; parents here would rather go straight to BBC Bitesize or similar online education resources.

Virtual lessons held by celebrities have also been popular – whether it’s P.E. with Joe Wicks or David Attenborough’s geography classes, nearly a quarter (24%) of UK parents cited this as a homeschooling resource. Looking at who is adopting this new format for learning, a quarter of women teaching their kids have claimed to be tuning in, compared to only a fifth of men. It was also found that parents aged 25-34 use them more than any other age group.

Analysis of Google search data shows that searches around geography have increased by 398% on average since April 2019. The average search volume for other subjects has also soared, including maths (299%), history (269%), English (264%) and science (252%). 

With 49,500 searches a month, ‘how to work out percentages’ is the most common maths question parents look for answers to online. But it’s ‘what is a factor in maths’ that has seen the biggest spike in maths-related searches by far, with a huge 2,485% increase compared to April 2019. In English, ‘what is a verb’ is searched for 40,500 times a month – an increase of 334%. ‘How many bones in the human body’ is the science question which has seen a 914% surge in Google searches since April last year, with those in Liverpool searching for this the most. In geography, ‘what is photosynthesis’ may only have a monthly search volume of 6,600, but this is a 224% increase on April 2019. Whilst in history, ‘who discovered penicillin’ has leapt 503% in the same period.
Top 20 Most Googled English Questions in the UKTop 20 Most Googled English Questions in the UKTop 20 Most Googled English Questions in the UK

These search spikes correlate with what respondents said about topics they’ve learned (or re-learned) since homeschooling their kids. In English, a quarter of parents reported learning what verbs, nouns, pronouns and adjectives are, and in maths, 23% said they’ve learned how to work with fractions and decimals. Around 1 in 7 said they’ve learned the basics for introducing themselves and asking questions in a foreign language.

When asked how easy or difficult it has been to find the answers needed to help with homeschooling, parents across the country have a varied experience. In Liverpool, 6% say it’s been impossible to find the information or help they need – that's more than anywhere else in the UK. At the other end of the scale are parents in Plymouth, where 36% say it has been very easy to find exactly what they’re looking for almost immediately (compared to 17% of the UK who said the same). Parents of kids aged 15-18 say they had the most difficulty overall with finding the information they needed to help teach their kids at home, suggesting that learning materials for GCSE and A-Level students are scarce.

Rosie McKissock, Kids Business Manager at Clarks, said:

“While some schools around the UK began to reopen on June 1st, limited classroom sizes means that some parents will be continuing with their homeschooling schedule. We wanted to understand what this experience has been like so far for parents. Overall, it’s been quite an eye-opener, with 3 in 10 parents surveyed saying their biggest takeaway from their homeschooling experience is they’ll respect and appreciate teachers a lot more, and 23% commenting on how easy it is for adults to forget what they learnt in school. As a parent myself, I totally recognise what this survey describes. It’s been a humbling experience taking on home school for two young children, realising the patience involved in teaching kids as well as the revelation of just how much you have forgotten (or perhaps never knew in the first place!).

While the majority of our high street stores remain closed at the moment, we’re continuing our commitment at Clarks to help parents prepare for sending their children back to school when they’re happy to do so. Our foot gauges come in two different sizes, allowing parents to measure and fit their children’s school shoes at home, with step-by-step instructions available on our website or direct from our customer service team to help with the process.

See the full report to find out more about the survey results, or to read more about how Google searches have changed amidst homeschooling.

Other images: Clarks

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page