Commenting on the findings of the NAO Value for Money study into Ofsted, Parentkind Acting CEO, Michelle Doyle Wildman, said:
“We welcome the NAO report into Ofsted and particularly support its recommendation that the inspectorate should take action to engage more with parents, better incorporating the feedback it receives from them and making their reports more useful to them.
“However, we also feel that Ofsted should go further in its evaluation of how schools themselves are listening to parent voice, gathering feedback and engaging with parents, and this should be assessed in its own right, as part of the inspection process.
From our research (which corroborates Ofsted’s own findings), we know that parents do look at Ofsted reports (54%) but barely a quarter (24%) said the reports were important to them when choosing a school. The overwhelming majority (81%) believe location and local reputation of the school is more important.
“Ofsted inspections should include an assessment of how well a school engages parents: considering whether it takes a whole-school approach to engagement; incorporating it into its improvement planning; and assessing whether parents feel valued as partners in their child’s education. This shift towards a more "parent-friendly" culture may not only improve parent satisfaction but may also provide more tangible information for parents to consider when they do review Ofsted reports.
“Parentkind, as the UK’s leading parents in education charity, welcomes the opportunity to work with Ofsted to ensure its reports work better for parents and in the development of an inspection process which encourages schools to engage with them more meaningfully.”