Did you know that Ofsted (the schools inspectorate) has an important online questionnaire called Parent View especially for parents?
In the past, when Ofsted notified a school of an inspection visit, parents would receive a paper questionnaire to complete and return to inspectors during the two-day inspection period. Now, at the time of an inspection, all parents are invited to submit their views to inspectors by logging onto Parent View through laptops or mobiles. The good news for time-strapped parents is that they can complete Parent View at any time of the school year and they can refresh their views when they hear about the inspection.
How to sign up
All that parents have to do is enter their email address at parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/register, confirm that they are a parent or carer and follow simple on-screen instructions to complete their registration. An email is sent to that email address and once they have activated the link, parents can choose a secure password for their Parent View account. They can then select multiple-choice answers for 12 short questions, 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. Parents’ details remain anonymous at all times.
This simple process takes a few minutes and is in place to prevent any misuse of the site. Users who are not parents or carers (for example headteachers, governors or other interested parties) can sign up to receive alerts when submissions are added to schools, but they are not able to submit views for a school – that functionality is only available to parents and carers.
If parents do not have a computer or an email address, schools can request Ofsted to set up a number of guest accounts. Parents can also ask the school for help with using Parent View.
Why parents’ views are important
Once schools have a minimum of 10 completed responses, the results for the school appear on the Parent View website.
It is very helpful for other parents to know what parents think about a school, particularly when choosing a school. Parents and others can check results on parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/parent-view-results.
Just as important, Parent View allows headteachers and governors to regularly monitor how parents see the school and what they think about the education that their children are receiving. The school can act on what is going well and what should be improved.
Parents’ views are also very useful for Ofsted. Outside of inspection, Ofsted analyses the information as part of its ‘risk assessment’ process alongside other data it collects, such as examination results, attendance records and complaint levels. This helps inspectors make decisions about whether or when to inspect a school. During an inspection, inspectors will take parents’ responses into account with other evidence.
Plea to all parents
Please spare a few minutes to go online and register your views to help other parents, school leaders and inspectors form a better picture of how your child’s school is performing.