Education authority Ofsted are inviting parents to rate and comment on schools in England using their new website, Parent View, which aims to help mums and dads decide which school would be best for their child.
The website, which wants to give parents a stronger voice, offers a 12 question survey. The questions cover issues such as bullying and behaviour, and parents can pick from a variety of set responses such as ‘strongly agree’ and ‘strongly disagree’. The results will be published on the website and will allow for annual comparisons.
The online questionnaire will ask parents about how well they feel their children are taught, whether their children feel happy and safe, and whether parents would recommend the school.
“Parents know how valuable the insight of other mums and dads can be when making choices about schools. Whilst parents’ views alone cannot trigger an inspection, they will provide a vital piece of the jigsaw,” Ofsted chair Baroness Morgan told the BBC.
Although the survey aims to investigate the academic progress and well being of pupils, some teachers believe that the system could be open to abuse from angry parents.
“It’s not clear why parents, who may have quite legitimate questions to which they seek answers, would choose the route of a questionnaire to express their concerns, or otherwise about a school,” said Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers.
“Apart from the obvious question as to what useful purpose the questionnaire will serve, this is a system which is open to abuse. Schools could easily be targeted by parents unfairly, or even in anger, which could result in a false impression being given of the school,” Christine continued.
What do you think? Would you use a site like Parent View and do you think it would be helpful?