Parent View is an online survey of parental views conducted by Ofsted and used as part of their information-gathering about your school. It is a slightly modified version of the paper questionnaire that used to be sent home before inspections prior to September 2012. It now consists of 12 questions, 11 of which are answered on the 5 point scale:
Strongly agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly disagree, Don’t know
The final question is answered by Yes or No.
When you talk to senior managers at Ofsted, they will tell you that Parent View is a tool that can be used by both schools and Ofsted to inform school development. This may be the aspiration but the overwhelming evidence from our study of 222 schools is that this is not the case. Parent View is not a document that intelligently informs school improvement. Neither is it a document that allows parents to express a meaningful opinion.
Evidence from our conversations with school leaders and teachers, and from Ofsted’s own Parents Panel, strongly suggests that these groups have the impression that Parent View is a means of expressing negative views about a school.
The good news is that our study provided strong evidence that this is a misconception. Deeper analysis of the evidence provided by Parent Panel members about why they do not use Parent View (and the latest official figures show that there is an average of 4 submissions per school for every school in England) shows that they do not use it because they “have nothing negative to say about the school.”
In other words they do not see Parent View as a means of expressing their own positive opinions.