Social skills and general wellbeing

Many parents are concerned with their child's social skills and general wellbeing.

A recent study from ASG and Monash University reveals that beyond the classroom, Australian children struggle to manage stress and digital distractions.

The ASG Parents Report Card is the only report of its kind to investigate the state of education in Australia from parents’ perspective.

The report, commissioned by ASG and written and analysed by Associate Professor Sivanes Phillipson and Associate Professor Shane Phillipson at the Faculty of Education at Monash University, reveals that while parents’ confidence in the school curriculum remains high, many are concerned with their child’s wellbeing.

Almost half of parents (49 per cent) feel that their child is not taught how to manage stress at school very well, while 57 per cent of parents believe their child becomes angry when they feel they cannot control things.

“Parents, an essential stakeholder in the education journey, are the only ones able to link the impact of home and school life with the academic success of their children. This year’s findings from the ASG Parents Report Card reveal they are conscious that the balance between academia, and the personal growth required to develop well-rounded life skills, is not being met,” says John Velegrinis, CEO, ASG. 

According to the report, six out of 10 (62 per cent) parents believe their child is easily upset by negative experiences, three in 10 have expressed concern at their child’s ability to handle personal problems and 28 per cent believe their child has poor problem solving abilities.

In addition, the report also found that while 96 per cent of parents are confident their child can speak to an adult if they need help, almost one fifth state that they don’t believe their child has friends they can call on should they need support.

When asked about the challenges to their child’s learning, parents quoted time, peer pressure and friends as part of their concerns. In terms of friends, parents said the main worries for their child are:

“To make new friends”

“Making friends”

“Ensuring they continue to keep good friends”

“Not falling in with bad friends”.

With this in mind, academic success can’t be viewed in isolation from the development of social emotional skills and therefore it’s imperative that both parents and schools continuously strive to address the changing needs of our next generation.

The role of parents and schools are not only critical to identifying areas of development, but also how, as a community, the education sector can be proactive in creating a better experience for all children.

The 2016 ASG Parents Report Card continues to demonstrate the value that the parenting community has on helping educators and policy makers understand children’s educational needs.

According to Associate Professors Sivanes Phillipson and Shane Phillipson of Monash University, the ASG Parents Report Card also highlights that while parents’ aspirations and children’s motivations to succeed continue to drive success, distractions remain an area of concern.

Parents also feel time management is one of three greatest challenges facing their child’s learning with three in 10 parents particularly concerned with their child’s ability to balance time spent learning and time participating in extra-curricular activities.

“Influences such as the use of digital technology and access to screen time have now become part of everyday life for children. They have also become part of a daily struggle for parents to balance homework and extra activities,” says Associate Professor Shane Phillipson.

Read the full 2016 ASG Parents Report Card

About the ASG Parents Report Card:

The ASG Report Card describes Australian parents’ beliefs about the capacity of the current educational environment to meet the educational needs of their children.

ASG developed the concept of the index and partnered with the Faculty of Education at Monash University, Melbourne, to develop and undertake a study in April 2016. Almost 3000 Australian parents, grandparents and guardians participated in the research, across all states and territories of Australia.

The co-authors of the ASG Parents Report Card — Associate Professors Sivanes Phillipson and Shane Phillipson of the Faculty of Education at Monash University — developed the questionnaire and research methodology and worked with ASG to publish the survey findings.

About ASG:

ASG’s mission is to support the education needs of all individuals from children to adults at any stage of their lives. ASG believes all individuals deserve equal access to education regardless of wealth, status and capability.

We achieve our mission by providing a range of financial products to help offset the cost of education and learning and providing valuable educational resources. As a member owned organised we also advocate for members’ interests by advocating for the importance of education and learning in nation building.

ASG has supported parents plan for the cost of their children’s education for more than 40 years. During this time, more than 530,000 children have been enrolled with ASG and more than $2.6 billion in education benefits and scholarship payments have been returned to members and their children.

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