What questions do Ofsted ask parents?

As you’re probably already aware, whenever an Ofsted inspection is triggered, the head teacher of a school has to notify parents about the inspection and invite them to complete Parent View – an online survey that gives parents and carers the opportunity to tell Ofsted what they think about their child’s school.

At this moment in time, anyone can log in to the system and complete the survey as many times as they want. Some have argued that this could result in unreliable outcomes, as several questions were considered ‘dangerous’, such as:

  • Is my child taught well at the school?
  • Does my child receive appropriate homework for their age?

But from September 2019 onwards, Ofsted is updating the questions it asks in the survey to link more closely to the new education inspection framework (EIF). Along with removing and adapting previous statements, it has also added a host of new questions including some for parents of children with special needs or disabilities.

Here’s a look at how Parent View is changing.

What’s new in Parent View

In total, there are now 14 questions:

  1. My child is happy at this school.
  2. My child feels safe at this school.
  3. The school makes sure its pupils are well behaved.
  4. My child has been bullied and the school dealt with the bullying quickly and effectively.
  5. The school makes me aware of what my child will learn during the year.
  6. When I have raised concerns with the school they have been dealt with properly.
  7. Does your child have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)? (yes or no) … If yes, the survey asks parents how strongly they agree with this statement: ‘My child has SEND, and the school gives them the support they need to succeed.’
  8. The school has high expectations for my child.
  9. My child does well at this school.
  10. The school lets me know how my child is doing.
  11. There is a good range of subjects available to my child at this school.
  12. My child can take part in clubs and activities at this school.
  13. The school supports my child’s wider personal development.
  14. I would recommend this school to another parent. (yes or no)

Parent View also has five additional statements for parents with children who board or reside at the following types of schools:

  • Maintained schools and academies
  • Independent schools that are not members of associations
  • Some non-maintained special schools

These statements are:

  • My child enjoys boarding/the welfare experience.
  • My child is warm enough and comfortable in the residential accommodation.
  • The experience of boarding/welfare helps my child’s progress and development.
  • I can easily contact the staff who care for my child.
  • Boarding and welfare is well organised and managed effectively.

To help schools and teachers with these new questions, Ofsted has published an updated Parent View toolkit, which can be used to encourage parents and carers to share their experiences.

What does it all mean for schools and teachers?

With research recommending that graded lessons and grading teachers is increasingly unreliable, asking better questions of parents can only help Ofsted moving forward.

For example, if the response rate for Ofsted Parent View is low, inspectors may look to gather further opinions from parents and guardians.

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