I come from a family of teachers – including one who became an Ofsted inspector – so I’ve always had an interest in education and, unsurprisingly, this has only increased now that I have one child at school and another starting in September. I was interested, then, to find out about an online questionnaire known as Parent View.
Parent View is a much-needed upgrade on the printed questionnaires parents need to fill in during the two-day Ofsted inspection. All parents will now be invited to submit their views via this service. It can be used at any time during the school year and there’s also the option to update your responses when an inspection is due to take place.
Registering for the service is easy and it only took me two minutes to get going. You just need to enter your email address, register, confirm that you’re a parent or carer and follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll receive an email with a link to activate your account and you can then choose a password.
Using the service
The questionnaire side of things is also straightforward. It comprises 12 short multiple-choice questions on subjects such as how well the school deals with bullying, whether they think the level of homework given to their child is appropriate and if they would recommend the school to other parents. Your details remain anonymous at all times.
The questions can only be completed by parents and carers. Headteachers and governors can use Parent View to receive alerts when surveys have been completed, but they can’t submit their own views – this functionality is only available to parents and carers.
If you don’t have a computer or email address, schools can ask Ofsted to set up a number of guest accounts and you can also ask the school for help using Parent View. Once a minimum of 10 surveys have been received, the results for the school appear on the Parent View website.
Why your views matter
As any parent knows, it’s really useful to know what others think about a school if you’re considering sending your child there. Results can be found here.
It’s not just parents it’s of use to, of course. It’s just as important for schools to regularly receive feedback and act accordingly and it makes Ofsted inspectors’ lives easier too as the data can help them decide whether or when to inspect a school. This, in turn, is good for schools as it can remove the upheaval of an inspection if it’s not necessary.
Personally, I think it’s a great communication channel that’s going to help everyone. It’s really useful to time-poor parents like me and, having seen both my parents experiencing the Ofsted process as teachers and my dad as an inspector, can see how it will benefit other parties too. It’s well worth taking a few minutes to sign up, share your views and see how others have responded.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.