What's new in the Ofsted Parent Pre-inspection Questionnaire?

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Ofsted have just published a revised questionnaire for parents and carers which will be used as part of any inspections of maintained schools from this month onwards.

The questionnaire has been extended to 13 questions from the previous 7. We have previously commented on the pre-inspection questionnaire here.

The questions are as follows:

  1. My child enjoys school
  2. The school keeps my child safe
  3. The school informs me about my child’s progress
  4. My child is making enough progress at this school
  5. The teaching is good at this school
  6. The school helps me to support my child’s learning
  7. The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle
  8. The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example, changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)
  9. The school meets my child’s particular needs
  10. The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour
  11. The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns
  12. The school is led and managed effectively
  13. Overall, I am happy with my child’s experience at this school
Questions highlighted in blue are 'new'. All other questions are derived from past incarnations of the parental questionnaire - however they are often subtly different.

For example, in question 4, 'good progress' is now 'enough progress'. 'Staff explain how to help my child at home' re-emerges as 'The school helps me to support my child’s learning'. Parents views on the absolute behaviour of pupils is exchanged for their views on how 'how effectively the school deals with unacceptable behaviour'. And finally, parents are asked if the school is led and managed 'effectively', rather than 'well'.

So, the pre-inspection questionnaire remains pretty broad as you'd imagine so that it may serve its' purpose in guiding inspectors towards any areas which might warrant closer attention. Whereas before the questionnaire closed with 'Other comments', parents are also given additional prompting 'If you want to explain any of your answers, or if there is anything else you want the inspection team to be aware of about the school, please give details here.'

The results of the parent questionnaire, including the number of responses, will now be summarised as part of the inspection report.

2 Responses to "What's new in the Ofsted Parent Pre-inspection Questionnaire?" (Leave A Comment)

Anonymous says
26 May 2011 at 08:18

Why is there never a "don't know" columns put in Ofsted parental surveys ?Our local Authority (Cheshire East) has recenty sent out a parental survey which they clearly stated at a meeting is an Ofsted one 'with one additional question'. It appears to be broadly the same as the one above, however it also includes the following questions requiring a tick box answer ;
" My child informs me about my child's progress and there is clear evidence of accurate assessment"
"The school is led and managed effectively by the Head Teacher"
"Current governance arangements in the school are effective"
"The LA is considering moving to establish an Interim Executive Board to replace the current Governing body. What are your views on this option?"

I was surprised that they appear to be asking me such judgemental questions(is this typical of the new Ofsted framework ?) and I am left feeling rather inadequate about my knowledge of the school and how it operates - especially as there was no column to write "don't know".

Why does Ofsted not include a "don't know" column in their surveys ? - some of us parents really don't know sometimes !!

Anonymous says
27 May 2012 at 17:56

I agree; the categories are too narrow. Personally, I would like to see a "neither agree nor disagree" option, so that the categories more closely reflect parents' views.

I note that Parent View came into effect last year. Whilst I feel it is good for parents to have the opportunity to express their views about the school their child(ren) attend, I am concerned that the categories are too narrow to reflect the true feeling about the school. I am also concerned that the results are not available to view online until a minimum number (is it four?) questionnaires are received.