Over half of children worry about catching COVID-19 at school

Eir NolsoeData Journalist
September 17, 2020, 3:58 PM UTC

Over half of children between 8 and 15 who attend school are scared they’ll contract coronavirus as they go back after nearly half a year at home  

Many pupils are nervous about their safety as they head back to school. Some 55% of eight to 15-year-olds who attend school normally are worried they’ll get coronavirus when they return. In this group, most (43%) are “a little bit worried”, while one in eight (13%) said they’re “very worried”.

Girls are more worried than boys (or, at least, more likely to admit it). Three in five (60%) feel concerned they might catch the virus at school, compared with half of boys in the same age group (51%).

Similarly, one in six girls (16%) are very worried, compared with one in ten boys (10%).

Children with parents in social grade C2DE, who tend to work in manual professions, are slightly more worried (60%) than those with ABC1 parents (54%), who are often professionals.

Half of children who normally attend school felt happier at home

Not everyone rejoices at being back in the classroom. A fifth of children aged eight to 15 (21%) who normally attend school but didn’t during the coronavirus outbreak felt “a lot” happier staying at home.  Another three in ten (29%) said they’d been “a little” happier than normal.

In this instance, there’s no difference between the genders. A similar number of boys (51%) and girls (50%) have felt happier at home.

About a third of children in the same age group have been less happy staying at home. This includes just under a quarter (23%) who have been a little less content, while 9% have been a lot less happy.

Girls are twice as likely to say they’ve been a lot less happy (12%) compared with boys (6%).

Children with ABC1 parents are slightly more likely to have been unhappy as a result of staying home (34%) than those with C2DE parents (27%). While this is a small gap, another YouGov survey found that C2DE parents spent more time on homeschooling in lockdown as they were less likely to work from home.

Only one in six children who normally attend school (16%) said staying home didn’t make any difference to how they felt.

See the full results here