In October 2011, Ofsted launched Parent View, a new online questionnaire that will allow parents and carers to give their views on their child's school at any time of the year. Covering over 22,000 schools across England, the 12 question survey will help other parents as they make important choices about their child's education and provide Ofsted with information about schools that will help inform priorities for inspection.
The questionnaire covers a range of topics, including quality of teaching, bullying, behaviour and levels of homework, allowing parents to give a view about their child's school on each issue, with a final question as to whether or not they would recommend the school to other parents.
The results for each school will be published on the website in real time. They will then be saved at the end of the academic year so that every school will have an ongoing year-on-year picture available to view.
Ofsted will monitor the results for each school and where concerns become clear these will be assessed by Her Majesty's Inspectors. The findings will form one element of the risk assessment Ofsted undertakes to decide, for example whether an outstanding school's performance appears to have declined and therefore the school needs to be inspected. They will also be part of the information that inspectors consider in preparation for any routine school inspection.
Taking on board feedback from Ofsted's parents' panel and concerns from schools, a balance of measures, including a registration process with password, have been put in place to help ensure that security of the website and to treat schools fairly, while making sure it is accessible for parents to use. Systems are also in place to flag potential signs of misuse and appropriate action will be taken where this is clear. Headteachers will be able to report concerns to Ofsted if they fear that Parent View has been misused.
Parents will be asked to give their view on the following 12 questions, from strongly agree through to strongly disagree:
My child is happy at this school
My child feels safe at this school
My child makes good progress at this school
My child is taught well at this school
My child receives appropriate homework for their age
This school ensures the pupils are well behaved
This school deals effectively with bullying
This school is well led and managed
This school responds well to any concern I raise
I receive valuable information from the school about my child's progress
I would recommend this school to another parent
The questionnaire is accessible at www.parentview.ofsted.gov.uk