Ahead of making policy changes, public bodies such as the Department for Education, schools inspectorate Ofsted and the National Audit Office can invite the submission of evidence and expertise from the public and/or interested organisations, to help them to decide if they have the correct approach or if they should make changes to their plans. Parentkind responds to consultations that directly impact on the role of parents in education, and you can find more details about previous responses we have made on this page.
Ofqual and DfE join consultation on exams 2021
We responded using data from a survey of 129 parents of students in exam cohorts. We found that teacher assessed grades (TAGs) tended to be favoured, and there was no strong consensus in favour of mandatory exam board papers. See the consultation
Education Select Committee inquiry into Home Education
The influential Westminster committee is currently holding an inquiry into home education. In 2020, when schools closed to most pupils, parents had to play a more active role in education, and many welcomed the opportunity. But learning from home was not without its challenges. We had data to present from our coronavirus polls, as well as other research on SEND and exclusion.
National Audit Office - Support for children's education during the Covid-19 pandemic
We were invited to help the National Audit Office (NAO) in their inquiry, in which they looked for a wide range of stakeholder voices, and we were pleased that they actively wanted to hear parent voice. We were able to supply them with a summary of our findings from our coronavirus polls, including specific issues for parents of children with SEND.
School Admissions Code
The DfE consulted on changes to the school admissions code. We responded with a parent voice perspective. Choosing and changing schools can be a stressful process for parents, and it is important that they have the information they need, and feel supported.
National Audit Office - Free School Meals
We sent the NAO a concise response to their inquiry into the value for money of the free school meals scheme in England. We backed up our response with data from our annual parent surveys, which breaks down into demographic areas such as whether or not the parent is eligible for free school meals.
Ofsted's complaints handling process
It is important that parent voice is considered when Ofsted submits a provisional report to schools following an inspection. If the school raises a complaint about the inspection, parents should also be able to raise concerns. We submitted a response to this consultation in March 2020 and used research from 73 parents who completed our online survey. See our summary
DfE - Removal of the 'outstanding' exemption for Ofsted inspections
Schools previously graded 'outstanding' are currently exempt from Ofsted inspection. The DfE's proposal is that the exemption should be removed.
It is our belief that parents are supportive of the removal of the exemption. This is based on previous surveys we have put to parents asking for their views on the new Ofsted inspection framework, which included questions on the rules for exemption, as well as how regularly they would prefer schools to be inspected.
We submitted an organisational response.
See the government website
for more details.
Home to school travel and transport
Closed 31st October 2019
Public consultation on the statutory guidance for local authorities on fulfilling their duties in relation to home to school travel and transport for children of compulsory school age.
Closed 20th September 2019
Why does spoken language not have the same status as reading and writing in our education system? The Oracy APPG asks about every aspect of oracy education.
Find out more about submitting evidence to the Oracy APPG.
Future Perfect Education Commission
Closed 31st August 2019
The Commission is seeking to change the nature of the debate about education in schools in England. To do this it will explore global best practice today in order to develop a practical vision for how the education system can enable today’s children to flourish as citizens of an unknowable future.
Find out more about the Commission at its website.
Closed 5th April 2019.
Ofsted seeks your views on our proposals for changes to the education inspection framework from September 2019. Read detail of the consultation: Education inspection framework 2019: inspecting the substance of education.
Parentkind responded to Ofsted’s consultation through a parent-friendly survey, so that representative parent voice was heard. We are pleased that Ofsted invites consultation feedback from parents, however there are several obstacles in place that may have prevented parents from being a large enough part of the conversation.We therefore encouraged individual parents to have their say by providing further resources to make the consultation more accessible to them. Our piece on why new Ofsted inspections must value the role and needs of parents is a summary of some of the issues to consider.
Our guidance for parents
How we responded
Parentkind wrote to Ofsted, because how schools are inspected, and the reports that are published online about each one, are important issues for parents. We all want the reassurance that our children's schools and quality of teaching will be judged fairly and accurately. Equally, we want to know that Ofsted reports we read when considering a potential school for our child provides us with all of the information we need to help make an informed judgement about its suitability.
To ensure that we reflected genuine parent voice in our response to Ofsted, we created a survey for parents and invited responses. The answers offered by 316 parents influenced and provided evidence for our submission. You can find the key findings from our parent survey here.
Overall, we found that there is currently a level of dissatisfaction among the parent community about how Ofsted meets its needs and expectations. See the full details about survey results here.
What was the outcome?
You have probably heard that the way Ofsted inspects schools is changing from September, after they invited feedback on their fresh ideas. We’re delighted to see that 605 individual parents/carers took the time to have their say and respond to the consultation directly. On top of that, you may have taken our survey so that we could respond on behalf of parents and provide Ofsted with tangible evidence of what parents think. It was by far the most responses Ofsted has ever received, which goes to show how important school inspections are to parents, teachers and other education professionals.
Some things are staying the same, but there are a few key changes to the way Ofsted operates that parents will want to know about. Read more about the key highlights of the Ofsted changes here.
Closed 16th March 2018
Edward Timpson CBE sought views and evidence on school exclusion practice in England as part of a review of school exclusions for the Department for Education. Read more about the consultation here: School exclusions review: call for evidence
How we responded
We wanted the testimony of parents of children who have experienced exclusion to be central to our response. Therefore we created a survey, which was open to all parents in England with a child who has recently experienced exclusion. See School exclusion: parents share their experiences and views for our summary.
What was the outcome?
The Timpson review explored how headteachers use exclusion, and why pupils with particular characteristics are more likely to be excluded from school.
The review gathered substantial evidence through submissions to the call for evidence and engagement with many organisations and individuals, including schools, local authorities, parents and children. See the Timpson review of school exclusion for the final report.