Parents and carers' involvement in their children’s learning is vital to their success yet can often be overlooked in developing school improvement strategies. This disconnection between parents and the trust could be detrimental to your trust’s achievements. As the DfE phrases it in their "Review of Best Practice in Parental Engagement", “The more parents are engaged in the education of their children, the more likely their children are to succeed in the education system.”
However, in our recent report on parental engagement in English schools, we found that 18% of parents are only slightly satisfied or not satisfied with their child’s school’s efforts to engage them as a parent. In this post, we’ll explore how a survey on this subject matter could help improve your school or trust’s parental engagement.
How Can a Survey Ensure Comprehensive Stakeholder Feedback?
The DfE report on parental engagement is clear in saying that, “there’s a link between parental involvement and student success”. They then go on to say that “listening to parent opinion is key to improving learning outcomes.” The same conclusion is reaffirmed by the Education Endowment Foundation.
One of the best ways to listen to stakeholders such as parents is to give them a chance to share their experiences through a survey. By using a survey with parents and carers in your community, you’re likely to build up an understanding of:
Not only can surveys improve your understanding of parent’s experiences, they are also a cost-effective way for school leaders to turn feedback into action. From this process, you can start to learn more about your community and create a system designed with them instead of for them. Which means:
- More transparent relationships with parents
- Higher performing and happier students
- Aligned and focused engagement policies making your teachers' lives easier
At the end of a survey, your trust will be able to make data-backed decisions with clear and transparent action plans using their stakeholder feedback.
What Can You Learn about Parental Engagement from a Parent Experience Survey?
The data from your parent survey could provide insight into how parents and carers in your trust feel about their relationship with you and their child's school.
A survey can help schools move past requests or complaints by the loud minority and consider the views and needs of the silent majority among their cohort of parents.
Depending on the questions chosen, you can learn important insights about:
- The overall engagement of your schools' parents
- Practical insights, for instance, what channels of communication they prefer
- Clear guidance on what else they would appreciate supporting their children's learning
Before collecting data, be clear in your goals and make sure all the questions you learn are actionable, so think carefully before merely copying Ofsted's Parent View. Learn more about good practices in surveying and avoiding survey fatigue in our Evidence-Driven School Improvement handbook.
Edurio's Parent Experience survey addresses the key aspects of parental engagement, such as communication, collaboration, and mutual trust and respect. We have recently created a Parental Engagement Report from all the data we’ve accumulated over the past few months in academies across England, highlighting key findings your trust could gather from parents.