The importance of surveying your parents was discussed at a recent NGA conference. What parents think of your school can have a big impact not only on how many apply for their children to come to your school but also on how Ofsted rate you.
Ofsted says: “When schools are first informed they are to be inspected they will be asked to provide Ofsted with a summary of their self-evaluation. This should include evidence from school stakeholders.” It goes without saying that parents and children are key stakeholders.
Parentview is a web survey set up by Ofsted to allow parents to rate schools anonymously. 3 negative reviews on it can trigger an Ofsted inspection. Although many schools do not have many ratings,it is worth checking as you may need to challenge negative comments.
Make sure you know what you want to find out to improve your self evaluation. As a minimum assess the following for importance and satisfaction, as they are usually the top 5 key issues that concern parents:
- School discipline
- Teaching quality
- Control of bullying
- Happiness of the child
- School security
Make sure you encourage parents to explain their ratings and use it as a basis for improving communication with them. Getting a good response to a survey of parents can be difficult, so here are some hints and tips from the presentation.
To improve response rates:-
- Advertise it.
- Do it using paper not online (typically you should get 40-50% back vs 4-5% on-line.
- Incentivise pupils to get their parents to fill it in and return it.
- Get the teachers on board.
- Ask for it back within a week but allow 2 weeks.
- Give parents (and teachers and pupils) feedback on the results.
- Take action to do something with the results.
- Also allow yourselves enough time to analyse the data before you.
Analysing the data
Use the resources you have and allow then sufficient time to analyse the quantitative data and read the qualitative data ( written explanations and comments) Identify and investigate any disconnects (ie something is important but parents are not satisfied).
Ask for an analysis showing results by Year groups, Gender and any other core groups you need to consider. As you build your collection of surveys you can also look for trends and use eighted/standardised results for comparisons between groups.
An example survey can be downloaded from the attachment below. You can use it to carry out your own survey.