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Questionnaire 'could be more pupil-friendly'

PUPIL questionnaires have produced mixed results at Hillside primary in Stoke-on-Trent.

The Staffordshire school has been using tick-box questionnaires of its own devising for three years, and was last year picked to pilot the new Ofsted questionnaires and inspection format.

Headteacher George Louizou, also an inspector, said he was glad that pupils were being given a greater voice. But he felt that some of the Ofsted questions were unclear.

"I think the questions need to be revised to be more pupil-friendly," he said. "The pupils were asked about bad behaviour in the playground, and because of the way the question was worded, many said that there was," he said.

"They were just referring to the rough-and-tumble you usually get, but I think they may have given the inspectors the impression there was a serious bullying problem."

Mr Louizou said that teachers at Hillside had found results from its own questionnaires useful and encouraging. Last year, for example, the primary discovered that 33 per cent of pupils felt they did not go on enough school trips.

The headteacher was positive about the overall inspection experience, and said it was more constructive and collaborative than previous visits.

"The inspection felt as if it was shared with the school," he said. "The school knew exactly what the team was going to focus on - and it wasn't just going to be the foundation subjects, which was a criticism in the past."

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