Annual Parent Survey 2020

Parent views from the education pandemic front-line’ – a new research report based on findings from our Annual Parent Survey 2020.

Key findings 

Parents saying school listens to them when it comes to their child’s education increases 9% in a year.

We have published Parent views from the education pandemic front-line’ – a new research report based on findings from our Annual Parent Survey 2020. 

A sample of 1500 parents who have at least one child attending state school have told us:

  • They want to have a say on their child’s education. Three quarters agree at school level, and over 50% at both government and Local Authority/multi-academy trust levels.
  • They feel more listened to in 2020 than they did last year. Almost six out of ten (59%) agree that school listens to parents, which is up 9% from 2019. Over four out of ten (41%) agree their Local Authority/multi-academy listens, an increase of 14% on last year. Almost a third (32%) also agree that the government listens, an increase of almost one in ten parents (9%) compared to 2019.

Demographic details show that, when it comes to wanting to be heard:

  • BAME parents are keener to have a say at government level (30% strongly agree compared to 19% of White parents) and overall at Local Authority/multi-academy trust level (69% vs 53%)
  • BAME parents are also more likely than White parents to engage with national education campaigns (11% vs 6%)
  • Those eligible for free school meals are much more likely than non-eligible to strongly agree they are listened to at government (18% vs 7%) and Local Authority/multi-academy trust (16% vs 8%) levels

Download our Annual Parent Survey Reports 

Our statement 

Our CEO John Jolly says, Our report shows that most parents, whatever their background, want a say on their child’s education. But they feel there is a gap when it comes to being heard. We are delighted to see that gap narrowing. In large part it’s thanks to the brilliant job teachers have done in communicating with parents during lockdown, which has energised home/​school partnerships built on trust throughout the nation. It’s important to see the gap continue to close, not just for the duration of the pandemic, but beyond. Given the current disruption to schooling and the extra responsibilities placed on them to support home-learning, the parental role in education has been brought sharply into focus in 2020. It is more crucial than ever to grant parents a strong voice in education, recognising them as the primary stakeholder. To meet this need, we are asking for a requirement for schools, MATs, and local and national government to consult parents on education matters directly affecting them. This should be reflected in education policy and guidance, and regulated. 

For parents to have a say and be heard in education, it’s vital that their voices are captured in research. We have conducted our Annual Parent Survey for six years so we can monitor parents’ attitudes on key education topics as well as recognise trends. We have launched our Parent views from the education pandemic front-line’ report so that we can present our requests to policymakers backed up with tangible evidence from a wide range of parental views.”

Our methodology 

The research was conducted online by fieldwork agency Dynata between 25 May and 18 June 2020. There were 1,500 interviews in total with parents from England (1,200), Northern Ireland (100) and Wales (200), who have at least one child aged 4–18 attending state school. The survey is representative of the parent population by gender, age and social grade, etc. Sub-samples in Wales and Northern Ireland were boosted to achieve a large enough base of respondents to compare findings across the three regions of England, Northern Ireland and Wales.