Less than 5 per cent of parents of pupils at state schools used Ofsted’s website to give their views about their children’s education, a new report reveals.
Ofsted has published data today showing that 4.2 per cent of parents at state schools used the inspectorate’s Parent View survey during the past 12 months.
The figures show that the number of parents using the system has been declining over the past year.
It follows criticism from a public spending watchdog that Ofsted does not give parents enough opportunity to have their say.
Parent View allows people to share their views about their child’s school with the inspectorate by answering 12 questions about their children’s education.
It is used by Ofsted during the inspection of schools when parents are invited to have their say. But parents can fill in the survey at any time.
Ofsted has already announced that it is planning to scrap Parent View and replace it with a new system. The inspectorate publishes figures about Parent View three times a year.
The most recent data reveals that in the 12 months up to April this year, 4.2 per cent of parents at school schools took part in the survey.
This is a drop from earlier figures, which showed that from January 2018 to January 2019, 4.5 per cent of parents used the system and during the 2017-18 academic year, 4.7 per cent of parents took part.
The figures also show that parents in independent schools were more than twice as likely to respond. Just over one in ten parents (10.1 per cent) of parents at the non-association private schools which Ofsted inspects responded.
The survey responses show that 63 per cent of parents strongly agreed that their child was happy with their state school and another 29 per cent agreed. Just five per cent disagreed and another three per cent strongly disagreed.
Parent View also shows that 86 per cent of state school parents and 93 per cent of independent school parents would recommend their child's school.
Last year, the Public Accounts Committee said that Ofsted did not give parents enough opportunity to contribute their views as part of school inspections.
A PAC report said Ofsted appeared to have good intentions to improve how it engages with parents but said it was not convinced that it had concrete plans to turn these intentions into actions.
Ofsted responded in December last year by revealing that it was planning to replace Parent View.
In a letter to the PAC chief inspector Amanda Spielman said: “While Parent View has served our inspection needs reasonably well, we are currently in the early stages of a project to replace the existing site with a new service, which better meets parents’ needs.
“The new system is being specifically designed to increase the volume, quality and diversity of views that we collect from parents both during and outside of inspection.
"This includes considering different platforms, ways of gathering and presenting data and the questions we ask parents.”
“As part of this work we are investigating how we better meet the needs of parents, inspectors and schools to provide a more valuable service to them.”