Is it true, that parents read and trust OfSTED reports?
The Annual Parents Survey 2017 was published on 12th April 2018 by the Department for Education – the survey was designed to garner parental views of OfSTED. The total number of respondents was 1,128 parents; 1,000 with a school-aged child and 128 with a pre-school-aged child attending childcare. There are some interesting results collated from 1st December and 10th December 2017. This is a summary by Teacher Toolkit.
Key OfSTED Findings
- Levels of awareness of Ofsted remain broadly unchanged, with six in ten (60%) parents knowing a lot about Ofsted (down 4% from 2016).
- Awareness of Ofsted’s responsibilities for pre-schooling has increased since 2016 (but for schools, has not improved since 2015).
- Three quarters of parents feel that Ofsted provides reliable information (however, 25% don’t).
- The proportion of parents agreeing that Ofsted provides a reliable measure of a school’s quality has fallen since 2016 (59% vs 66%). The lowest in three years!
- The quality of teaching is most commonly ranked first as the most important factor that parents think about when their child is attending a childcare provider, school or college. Amen!
- When making a decision [about a school], the proximity to the parent’s home and the Ofsted judgement are the most important factors.
- 61 per cent of parents agree that schools shouldn’t be given any notice of inspection.
- There is also agreement from over 56% parents that it is more important for schools to be inspected without notice than for parents to be able feed their views into the inspection process.
- Only 20 per cent of parents read the full inspection report.
- The quality of the teaching, happiness of children and how the school deals with bullying are the most useful pieces of information.
I welcome this on-going research being shared in the public domain. Moving forward, rather than reading sound bytes or ‘wordles’ from parents, it would be beneficial to have OfSTED and/or the Department for Education provide a summary at the end of the report with a set of actions for the year ahead. What I find most interesting is this:
OfSTED believe they are reporting in the best interests of parents, but in fact they have no hard data to support this. When I last spoke with a Department for Education representative at the NAHT Accountability Forum meeting, I asked this simple question: “What type of person accesses your information? Surely a simple ‘who are you?’ before entering the website would suffice?” The response? “We don’t collect this information.”
Therefore, we have no idea if OfSTED reports [in their current form] are actually what parents want and if they actually access this information via the DfE website.
You can download the full report here.