Ofsted releases annual survey of parental perceptions and awareness
Ofsted has just released its yearly survey of parental perceptions and awareness, with the findings expected to shape the development of the body’s future strategy and priorities.
The study was carried out by YouGov between 1 and 17 December and compiles the responses of 1,128 parents. Of the total respondents, 1,000 parents have a school-aged child and the remaining 128 have a preschool-aged child attending childcare.
As the Education Executive reports, 67% of parents polled believe Ofsted is a worthy source of information about schools in their local area. Yet, fewer parents believe the organisation offers a reliable measure of the quality of these education facilities, falling to 59% from 66% in 2017.
The main reasons parents do not trust Ofsted to provide reliable information are the provider or institution being different during an inspection; inspections not being long enough; and representatives not inspecting the right things.
Six in ten (60%) parents told the survey that they know a lot or fair amount about Ofsted, a 4% drop on last year’s figure.
Among the parents of school-aged children, awareness of Ofsted’s duties with regards to pre-school children, nurseries/childminders and further education colleges has risen since 2016.
When selecting a provider, teaching quality came out as the top factor parents consider when their child is attending a childcare provider, school or college. Yet, interestingly, when it comes to making a decision on the education facility, the proximity of it to the parent’s home and Ofsted judgement rank as the two most important considerations.
A parent’s choice of school is largely inspired by talking to other parents as well as by Ofsted reports, states the survey.
When parents were asked about Ofsted rating and inspections, 61% felt that schools shouldn’t be given notice of an inspection taking place. Just over half (56%) believed that this was more important than for them to be able to feed their views into the inspection process.
The report stated: ‘Nearly nine in ten parents know the Ofsted rating of their child’s school. The number of parents finding out about the Ofsted rating from the Ofsted website has significantly increased since 2015 – with the proportion of parents receiving information through communications from schools falling.’
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