Annual Parent Survey 2018

Parentkind’s Parent Insight Survey looks at parents’ attitudes and opinions on a number of topics related to their children’s education. This is the fourth wave of the survey (the first one was run in September 2015) and as well continuing to track parental attitudes year on year, it also asks parents their views on a number of new topics including perceptions of effectiveness of schools’ communications with parents; the importance of parental influence of children’s education; children’s mental health and wellbeing at school; attributes that children should have when they leave school; and attributes of a successful school and parents’ satisfaction.

Key findings

1. Parent poll reveals concerns over child mental health in schools
Our new research shows three in five parents are worried about their child’s emotional well-being and mental health at school, claiming two in five children have experienced stress relating to homework (42%) and exams (41%), while over a third have suffered from anxiety (38%) and bullying (33%). The findings from our latest annual parent survey also found that:
  • More than half of all respondents were concerned that the school’s high expectations were putting pressure on their child (53%)
  • Around a fifth of parents said their child had suffered from depression; rising to 23% of parents with children aged 16 or older. More than a quarter (27%) of these respondents said they were not satisfied with the way their child was helped by the school in this regard
  • A third (34%) of parents were not satisfied with how the school offered support for bullying
  • Although other serious mental health concerns such as self-harming, eating disorders and substance misuse were less commonly reported by parents (around one in 10 said their child experienced these), parents were relatively more satisfied by the support offered by their child’s school in these cases (self-harm 58%, eating disorders 61% and substance misuse 76%)
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of parents said their child had felt the pressure to constantly engage with social media as a result of something that happened at school
  • The majority of parents think self-confidence is one of the key attributes children should leave primary (64%) and secondary (57%) with.

Read more and download the full report
View the full infographic (pdf)
Download the full press release
Download our full Mental Health Policy Position

About the research

The field work took place between 13th Aug – 7th Sep 2018 with a total sample of 1,500 parents (England - 1,200, Northern Ireland - 100 and Wales -200) who have at least one child aged 5-18 attending state school representative of the parent population by gender, age and social grade. The Welsh and Northern Irish sub-samples were boosted to achieve a large enough base of respondents to allow national comparisons.

The large scale of the survey offers a significant and unique insight into what parents – key stakeholders in education – truly think about their child’s schooling.

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