The BBC is reporting a NASUWT survey that suggests fewer than a third of parents check league tables when choosing schools for their children…
Instead, more than half (54%) look online for general information, 49% read the latest inspection report and 53% speak to parents of current pupils.
Some 87% of 1,019 parents polled by ComRes for the NASUWT were satisfied with their children’s teachers.
NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates urged ministers to take note.
The findings come ahead of publication of the annual secondary school league tables in England later this month.
Ms Keates said the survey results showed the majority of parents did not share ministers’ views on “many of the key education policy issues”.
“It is clear that punitive ranking of schools in performance league tables is not something on which the majority of parents rely, and therefore schools, parents and children are subjected to this negative annual ritual unnecessarily.”
More than two-thirds of parents (67%) said a school’s location, easily accessible from home or work, was a crucial factor.
Asked to name the five most important qualities they wanted in a school:
- 54% listed supportive staff
- 39% a good inspection report
- 38% a track record on dealing with bad behaviour and bullying
- 36% good buildings and facilities
- 21% good league table positionJames Kempton, associate director for education and social policy at the centre-right think tank CentreForum welcomed the fact parents accessed information on school performance from a variety of sources,
“This is a good thing because no single method of assessing how well a school is performing can possibly capture every facet of what that school does,” he said.
CentreForum has argued secondary schools should be judged according to the progress they enable pupils to make.
From 2016 government reforms to league tables in England will encourage secondary schools to focus on pupil progress…
I’m not quite sure of the logic being used here – the fact that fewer than a third of parents check league tables surely doesn’t in itself prove they are or aren’t important? In fact, I’m quite surprised the figure is that high.
In addition, the quality that comes out as most important – supportive staff – is a wish, not something parents can check or know in advance, so is a bit of a red herring as an option. However, the overall figure of 87% being satisfied with their children’s teachers sounds pretty encouraging – what do you think?
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