Being a parent is a tough job and I have said many times that parenting older children can be a challenge. Not because they cause more issues but simply because life gets more challenging as you get older. Your children often need you more as they get older. When they are babies and toddlers life is tiring but pretty straight forward yet as they progress through school and make their own friends there are more bumps in the road.
I have said many times that for children to be a success at school a partnership between school, home and the child is needed. I have shared previously the worry of not getting your preferred school choice and also tips to help your teenager get the best exams results they can. Many parents say that although they have parent teacher appointments at schools they often have nowhere to voice their thoughts about the school. I always suggest getting involved in the school really helps you get to know a school. As parents you can help by getting involved in the PTA and help raise valuable funds for schools, you can also volunteer to help – this is especially welcome in primary schools where most schools welcome parent helpers who can read and do basic admin jobs in the classrooms. Finally if you are really interested in helping a school progress and holding the school accountable consider becoming a governor. It is time consuming but immensely satisfying to know that you are being a critical friend.
One way ALL PARENTS can get involved and have their say is through Oftsed’s Parent View. This is an online questionnaire that comprises of 12 questions regarding yours and your child’s experience at the school they attend. To access the online tool all that parents have to do is enter their email address at https://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/register, confirm that they are a parent or carer and follow simple on-screen instructions to complete their registration. An email is sent to that email address and once they have activated the link, parents can choose a secure password for their Parent View account.
Once schools have a minimum of 10 completed responses, the results for the school appear on the Parent View website. Which is very helpful for other parents to know what parents think about a school, particularly when choosing a school. Questions include things like the level of bullying that occurs, how much homework students are given and also what you think of how the school communicates with parents and carers.
This online questionnaire makes up an important triangle and gives parents a voice that matters. It is really important that all stakeholders have their say and will help the Ofsted Inspectors make their judgements about a school. This is one way parents and carers can really influence the way that their children’s school is viewed by the government and by the local community. The questionnaire is anonymous so that parents can say what they really think and help in turn to drive standards up in a school. This is why I say that education is a partnership. As a teacher Ofsted inspections are a stressful time in the academic year, but I do recognise that we need to have some method of assessing schools and monitoring standards. My only hope is that the focus is holistic and not just based on purely academic results but the health and well being of the whole pupil.