More to schools than results, finds new survey

A UK-wide survey of 400 parents and staff shows there’s more to school than results and OFSTED reports

The priorities identified in the survey, conducted by, the new school performance tables which launched in 2014, will now be incorporated into this year’s tables.

 The survey showed the following as being particularly important to parents and teachers in looking at a school:

·         Most important are GCSE results, A-level results, Ofsted reports and progress measures including both academic and vocational results.

·         Second most important are pupil happiness, support and the way in which a school manages bullying and poor behaviour.

·         Extracurricular opportunities are important, in particular the range of sports and extracurricular clubs available at a school.

·         Parents also want to know more about a school’s ethos, values and vision.

·         Both parents and teachers believe greater detail on attainment and value added is important and of significant use in choosing a school.

·         Parents also want more information on the staffing at a school and the facilities schools offer.

The school performance tables initiative, launched in August by ASCL, NAHT, the PiXL Club and United Learning is proving extremely popular with schools across the country using it as a way, independent of government, of allowing parents to see how they are performing.  Schools upload the exam results that pupils actually receive rather than the first entry results that the DfE publish.

Commenting on the Survey, Jon Coles, Chief Executive of United Learning, said: We want these school performance tables to be of genuine use to parents and schools so this survey is very important in telling us what they really want to know.  The findings show that exam results and Ofsted inspections are important but by no means give the whole picture of a school.

“Parents are demanding more and we believe they are right to do so.  We will now be looking at how best to incorporate these new indicators of a school’s success into our tables.”

“This is good news for schools because they now have a platform for providing parents with a much broader and deeper understanding of what they offer.  And parents will be able to find those key facts about local schools in one place when choosing where to send their child.”

Brian Lightman, General Secretary of ASCL, commented: ‘These tables represent an important stage towards a school-led, self-improving system.  In addition to helping parents and other stakeholders get a much broader picture of school performance, the speed of publication which arises from collaboration between schools will help head teachers and other school leaders assess their own performance much more quickly.”

Russell Hobby, General Secretary of NAHT, said: “The need for stable, honest measures of school performance has never been more clear.  The alternative performance tables show a commitment from schools to transparency and accountability, but also enable them to demonstrate their performance whatever the sudden shifts of government policy. Now is the right time for schools to turn their attention away from the government’s ever changing measures and follow their own values for what is right for the students they serve.’




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