STUDENTS
26/03/2012 13:40 BST | Updated 26/03/2012 13:51 BST

Child Development: Research Suggests Exam Results Rely More On Parents Than Teachers

It has long been understood that the quality of a school and the quality of a home life can both have huge affects on child development.

The lack of either can severely hamstring a child's education. Yet, according to new figures due to be released by the Royal Economic Society, parents are far more influential in affecting a child's academic progress than teachers.

A study, led by Dr Arnaud Chevalier of Royal Holloway, showed that parents affect a child's educational development by up to five times more than teachers.

For the study, children who had to move schools at key stages of their education were compared with their siblings who remained at the same school – with the findings suggesting that the quality of parental input on a child had a greater sway on the child's school achievements than the educators.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the study found that “half of the variation in test scores is attributable to shared family factors, while schools only account for 10 per cent.”

The results corroborate strongly with recent remarks made by Ofsted's chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, who recently told the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) conference that: "schools in the most difficult circumstances have no option but to be surrogate parents so that children can achieve," implying that poor parenting hampers both the child and how far a school can take a pupil.

The research results showed that poor parental input, particularly in the subjects of maths and science, could lead to irreparable harm to a child's education, putting them at a disadvantage in testing.