It’s a fairly safe bet that, parent or not, you will have heard of Ofsted. Oftsed are the schools inspectorate, it’s their job to go into a setting and make judgements about the quality of provision. Much of this is done over the course of a day or two through observations, investigating paperwork and holding interviews with stakeholders (this could be teachers, children, governors etc).
Inspection time can be extremely stressful for everyone involved as all anyone wants is the best for the children in that setting. School staff want to show that they’re providing the very best they can and the inspectors want to find that too (even though it doesn’t always feel that way).
Have your say about your child’s school
But, did you know that you can have your say too? As a parent or carer you can voice your own opinions about your child’s school. In the past, when your child’s school was to be inspected, you would be given a paper questionnaire to complete. This questionnaire is now held online and is a really important way for you to have your voice heard and to influence the way your child’s school is viewed by inspectors, the wider community and the government.
How to use Parent View
Logging onto Parent View through your laptop or mobile takes a matter of minutes – you enter your email address at https://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/register and then following simple on-screen instructions to complete your registration. Once you’ve received an email and activated the link, you choose a password and you’re good to go. The 12 short questions are multiple-choice covering things such as how well the school deals with bullying, how much homework your kids get and even if you would recommend the school to other parents. Your views will remain anonymous but the sign up process ensures there can be no opportunity for misuse.
Personally I think being able to log onto a website to do this rather than finding a scruffy letter at the bottom of your son’s book bag three days after the inspection is a complete win. Another bonus is that you don’t even have to wait for an inspection to be due before you fill in the questionnaire, you can do it now (while you’re thinking about it) and then just refresh your views around inspection time if anything has changed.
You don’t have to wait till Ofsted are coming to tell them what you think
With Parent View, your voice can be heard at any time during the school year and not just by Ofsted. Once schools have a minimum of 10 completed responses, the results are displayed on the Parent View website – where they can been seen by other parents who might be considering sending their child to the school or by headteachers and governors to monitor areas for development or successes to celebrate. Outside of inspection time Ofsted may also use the information on Parent View, alongshore other data on test results or attendance, when it comes to making decisions about whether or not to inspect a school.
So, sit down with a cup of tea and take five minutes to do your bit. Get online and register your views to help other parents, school leaders and inspectors form a better picture of how your child’s school is performing. I’m off to do mine now!