Fewer parents feel schools act on their feedback

Most parents feel schools and policymakers are not taking account of their views

Hélène Mulholland

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Fewer parents say schools are acting on their feedback, and the majority believe schools should be more accountable, a poll has revealed.

Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of parents surveyed by charity Parentkind said their school should be more accountable to parents. 

Only 51 per cent of parents said that schools were taking action based on their views or feedback, down from the 56 per cent reported in a 2016 Parentkind poll.

Almost half (49 per cent) said they were not confident about talking to school governors,

The poll, which involved a sample of 1,507 parents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, found that most parents (84 per cent) would like to be routinely consulted by their children’s school.

The research also showed that parents from lower socio-economic backgrounds felt markedly less confident in getting their voices heard and questions answered than their peers from higher socio-economic backgrounds, according to the charity. 

Many of those polled also want a say beyond the school gate: almost two thirds (62 per cent) would like to engage with the local authority, multi-academy trust (MAT) or at government level, but a similar number (63 per cent) lacked confidence in raising issues.

Well over half (59 per cent) of parents said they did not know or understand the changes the government was making to education and only a quarter (25 per cent) felt listened to by policymakers.

Michelle Doyle Wildman, Acting CEO of Parentkind, said the poll showed the “considerable uncertainty” parents experienced when seeking to engage at local and central government level or when dealing with multi-academy trusts.

She said: “In England, MATs will set the ethos and policies for the schools in their group. One implication of this is the seeming reduction of engagement with parents on matters and decisions which directly affect them and their families.

“To address this, Parentkind is calling for schools, local authorities, MATs and government departments to work harder to provide a range of ways for parents to properly engage in their child’s education and school life, and importantly to have a say. In particular, we would like to see an effective and inclusive parent group in every school with clear lines of communication into senior leadership teams and governing bodies.”

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Hélène Mulholland

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