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The programme drew on a study, by Margaret O'Brien at the University of North London, to claim that children of working mothers had low achievement at GCSE level because of maternal deprivation. No examination was made of any other obvious factors that might affect educational achievement such as poverty, housing, quality of childcare, role of fathers and so on.
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The results hit the headlines and the whole exercise became a telling demonstration of how myths about women's role in society are maintained.
Panorama's sensationalist press releases implied new and startling evidence for their controversial claims but even a cursory look at the study reveals it to be flimsy, crude and full of holes. Much of the research was based on asking children in the sample to fill in a diary of their daily activities and how much time was spent with their parents.
Only 26 percent returned completed diaries and it was from this minority, plus a series of questionNaires from other children, that the results were obtained.
Correlation between exam results achieved by the children and the hours their mothers worked showed that 49 percent of children of mothers who worked part time achieved five or more GCSEs at grades A-C, while only 33 percent of those with mothers who worked full time Single parent shift worker the same results.
Of those who gained no GCSE passes 25 percent had mothers who worked full time and 11 percent had mothers who worked only part time. These figures alone formed the basis for the conclusion that children's education is adversely affected if their mother works full time.
It was also pointed out that families with only one parent working were economically less well off and so low achievement was to Single parent shift worker expected. Again if economic deprivation is acknowledged to be a factor with one group of children how can that not be taken into account in the whole sample?
Instead the most glaring contradiction in the results is glossed over and thereafter ignored. Again this rather important fact about the social context of the children's lives, which if looked into might have shed some light on the results, was not explored in the documentary or surrounding publicity.
Finally, although the original research was supposedly a study of the family, the only aspect of the families' situation under examination was whether the mother worked or not. Thus the revealing discovery that children's 'contact with fathers is greatest when both mothers and fathers are working full time' goes unreported.
So now the dust has settled it is clear that there is no new evidence, in fact there is no evidence at all, that having a working mother decreases a child's chance of gaining GCSEs. On the contrary, there is a tide of evidence provided from years of research across Europe and the US which show that, far from being 'deprived', children who have spent time in day care actually benefit from the experience.
In the same week as the Panorama episode the Institute of Child Health pointed to studies of educational performance which demonstrated increased competence at reading, writing, maths and general knowledge among children who have been in day care when young.
The Institute report also pointed out that 'after the first year of life accidental injury is the leading cause of death in childhood, and an important cause of hospital admission and A and E attendance.
Poor children living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods are at substantially greater risk of serious injury. Day care has the potential to provide a safe environment for children who would otherwise be exposed to the environmental hazards of poor housing. Such results rarely make banner headlines, while the argument that children suffer disadvantage if their mothers work has become the accepted commonsense view, even though it does not stand up to examination.
That the role of women as workers is still being questioned at the end of the 20th century, when women form almost half the workforce and this figure is set to grow to more than half by the beginning of the 21st century, shows that despite the gains of the last 30 years women's equality is still to be achieved.
What are the motives behind such ideological attacks? Are the policy makers, politicians and bosses trying to push women out of jobs and back into the home looking after children full time? The answer is no. Women workers are an essential core part of the system and cannot be dispensed with in this way.
Instead the usefulness of research which says that children need their mothers lies in its ability to shape women's attitudes towards work and the family, ensuring they see their role as childbearer as the primary one around which waged work must fit. There have been brief moments in history when the needs of the system have meant that these priorities have briefly changed and women have been encouraged to concentrate on being workers.
During the Second World War posters proclaimed that children were happy in nurseries while their mothers worked in the armaments factories, that mothers should not visit their evacuee offspring too often and that it was selfish to stay at home.
After the war, when the government wanted women to give up their full time jobs to be replaced by the returning soldiers, the message changed.
Studies of maternal deprivation were much publicised. John Bowlby's studies of children who had been separated from their mother were famous for claiming that such children went on to become juvenile delinquents.
In the s the accepted professional view was that the mother had a unique relationship with her young child and had to be a full time carer in order that the child would grow up into a healthy, well balanced adult.
But the reality behind society's ideal was already changing, with 20 percent of married women working during the s.At my single income level I would pretty much be phased out of everything whether it was single or dual income so that is a wash.
If both incomes are similar than . These special needs might relate to a disability or because you are a single parent. If, for example, you have a hearing disability, the employer must provide you with the equipment that you need.
Please see the Commission’s Human Rights at Work, Talk to a co-worker you trust, or if there is a senior manager that you trust, or there. I honestly don't know how single parents cope at all, much less how they would cope with shift work.
I think having a network of relatives and friends to help with childcare would be the best way to handle unusual working hours.
Keep in mind they know I’m a single parent and that I have requested for them to work with my childcare schedule but they keep changing my hours last minute. The change they want to enforce on Sunday also drops my hours two more that is twelve hours less a week that I was originally hired on to work.
First of all you now have to work 2 days a week overtime and Saturdays working any other shift other than 1st and you will not see your family.. you only get 1 day of the first year you work there, then only a week and a day after that, and you have to take the hole week off at one time, if you are a single parent forget working here/5().
Family Support Worker - Birmingham - Primary School - Temporary Your new company You will be working at a Birmingham primary school as a Family Support Worker on a temporary basis, however there is a chance it will become permanent for the right person.