Ofsted to stop asking parents about homework

Parents will no longer give their views about whether the homework their child is given is age appropriate

Parents will no longer be asked for their views about homework by Ofsted

Ofsted will no longer be asking parents for their views about their children’s homework as part of its online survey.

The inspectorate has produced a new set of questions it will ask through its Parent View site from this September.

As part of these changes, the inspectorate will stop asking parents whether they think their children received appropriate homework for their age.

BackgroundOfsted set to replace Parent View

Quick read95 per cent of parents don't use survey

Comment:  'Understandable for parents to ignore homework'

Parents will also no longer be asked whether they think a school is well led and managed.

Parent View is being changed as Ofsted moves to a new inspection framework after the summer.

When asked why the changes are being made an Ofsted spokesperson said: “For homework, it is up to individual schools to decide whether it is age appropriate, in line with their policy. Inspectors do not assess homework as part of inspections.”

Ofsted said it had tested the questions with parents extensively. 

The spokesperson added: “Our research showed that they found some of the questions on the current questionnaire more difficult to answer – for instance, whether or not a school is well led and managed. “The new questions are more reflective of our new approach to inspections.”

They added: “The changes reflect the research we did with parents, regarding the new framework and what inspectors find most useful to know.”

In the past Ofsted has placed a greater emphasis on parents’ views about homework.

In 2016, it surveyed more than 300 parents on the topic. 

It said those parents who responded positively said homework helped them feel part of their children’s learning.

However, Ofsted found that a common view held by parents was that homework causes huge stress for the whole family and so impacts negatively on home life. 

In a blog on the issue, published in 2017, Ofsted said: “The volume of homework set is also a concern. Parents feel that the time taken to complete it is often underestimated.”

Other changes to Parent View being introduced from this September include parents of children with special educational needs being asked whether they think their child’s school supports them to succeed.

Parent View gives people a series of statements and asks them whether they strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree or don’t know.  

From September, it will also no longer ask parents if their child is making good progress and is being taught well. 

However, they will be asked a new question about whether their child does well at the school and whether the school has high expectations for their child.

Ofsted will also ask whether the school offers a "good range of subjects", if children can take part in clubs and activities and whether schools support children's wider development.

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