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Publication - Report

National improvement framework for Scottish education: evidence report 2017

Published: 12 Dec 2017
Directorate:
Children and Families Directorate
Part of:
Children and families, Education, Research
ISBN:
9781788515078

An overview of available current evidence on achievement, attainment, health and wellbeing, in Scottish education.

80 page PDF

3.2 MB

80 page PDF

3.2 MB

Contents
National improvement framework for Scottish education: evidence report 2017
Key Driver: Parental engagement

80 page PDF

3.2 MB

Key Driver: Parental engagement

Satisfaction with schools

Every year, the Scottish Household Survey asks adults (not only parents) how satisfied they are with a number of local services, including schools. The latest findings of the survey are published in the 2016 survey report. These showed that:

  • 73% of adults were very or fairly satisfied with the quality of local schools in 2016. This was broadly the same for people living in the most deprived and least deprived areas.

The percentage of adults very or fairly satisfied with local schools has fallen over the last 5 years, from a high of 85% in 2011 to the current level of 73%.

People who have actually used the services i.e. those who have children in school arguably have a more informed opinion of the service.

  • 88% of adults who have used school were very or fairly satisfied with the quality of local schools in 2016. Satisfaction of service users is also more stable over time than that of all adults.

Parent Pre-inspection Questionnaires

Before school inspections take place, HM Inspectors issue questionnaires to parents. These give an indication of parents' satisfaction with various aspects of the schools to inform the inspection.

During the 2016/17 academic year, Education Scotland reviewed the range and content of the pre-inspection questions. The revised questions were piloted from January to June 2017 alongside the trial of a new online questionnaire system which was introduced in January 2017.

Each year, Her Majesty's Inspectors ( HMI) inspect the quality of education and training across all sectors of the learner journey, from early learning and childcare to adult education. Inspections undertaken in a sample of schools form the main focus of this activity. These inspections cover primary, secondary, all-through and special schools.

The results are shown for the responses to pre-inspection questionnaires issued to schools inspected between January and June 2017 as part of this sample. These results are not representative of all parents across Scotland.

4,603 parents of pupils completed the questionnaire between January and June 2017. Of those:

Satisfaction with their engagement and involvement with the school

70% of the respondents agreed that the school gave them advice on how to support their child's learning at home.

50% of the respondents agreed that the school organised activities where they and their child could learn together.

59% of the respondents agreed that the school took their views into account when making changes.

85% of the respondents agreed that they felt comfortable approaching the school with questions, suggestions and/or a problem.

78% of the respondents agreed that they were kept informed about the work of the Parent Council and/or parent association.

70% of the respondents agreed that they felt encouraged to be involved in the work of the Parent Council and/or parent association.

80% of the respondents agreed that they would recommend the school to other parents.

83% of the respondents agreed that they were satisfied with the school.

Satisfaction with their child's progress with learning and the quality of reporting about their progress

81% of the respondents agreed that their child found their learning activities hard enough.

86% of the respondents agreed that their child was making good progress at school.

81% of the respondents agreed that they received helpful information about how their child was doing, e.g. informal feedback, reports, learning profiles.

76% of the respondents agreed that the information they received about how their child was doing reached them at the right time.

73% of the respondents agreed that they understood how their child was assessed.

81% of the respondents agreed that their child received the help they needed to do well.

Before early learning and childcare ( ELC) settings inspections take place, HM Inspectors issue questionnaires to parents. These give an indication of parents' satisfaction with various aspects of the ELC settings to inform the inspection.

During the 2016/17 academic year, Education Scotland reviewed the range and content of the pre-inspection questions. The revised questions were piloted from January to June 2017 alongside the trial of a new online questionnaire system which was introduced in January 2017.

These results are not representative of all parents across Scotland.

819 parents of pupils in early learning and childcare settings completed the questionnaire between January and June 2017. Of those:

Satisfaction with their engagement and involvement with the school

83% of the respondents agreed that the setting gave them ideas on how to support their child's learning at home.

74% of the respondents agreed that the setting organised activities where they and their child could learn together.

83% of the respondents agreed that the setting took their views into account when making changes.

95% of the respondents agreed that they felt comfortable approaching the setting with questions, suggestions and/or a problem.

74% of the respondents agreed that they were kept informed about the work of the parent group.

71% of the respondents agreed that they felt encouraged to be involved in the work of the parent groups.

96% of the respondents agreed that they would recommend the setting to other parents.

98% of the respondents agreed that they were satisfied with the setting.

Satisfaction with their child's progress with learning and the quality of reporting about their progress

95% of the respondents agreed that the learning experiences their child has had at the setting were at the right level for them.

97% of the respondents agreed that their child was making good progress at the setting.

92% of the respondents agreed that they received helpful information about how their child was doing, e.g. informal feedback, reports, learning profiles.

90% of the respondents agreed that the information they received about how their child was learning and developing reached them at the right time.

89% of the respondents agreed that they understood how the setting monitored their child's progress with learning.

95% of the respondents agreed that their child's learning was well supported by the adults in the setting.

Qualitative research on parental involvement and engagement - the National Parent Forum review of Parental Involvement (May 2017)

The Scottish Government commissioned the National Parent Forum of Scotland to conduct an independent review of parental involvement. The review included qualitative research by IPSOS Mori.

Key findings from the research were:

  • Substantial variation between the approaches of different local authorities in terms of the publicly available documentation and information related to parental involvement.
  • Overall, parents were satisfied with the type and level of communication they received from their child's school, with a clear move towards modern communication methods.
  • Parents felt that they should have more information on the topics that their child is learning at school and how it is being taught.
  • Parents felt schools were not consulting as much as they should.
  • Most parents had limited knowledge of what learning at home means, in particular the broader meaning of the term beyond homework.
  • Across most features of parental involvement, those with children in secondary school found it more difficult to support their child than those with primary school.
  • Basic awareness of Parent Councils is high amongst parents. However, there were concerns about the representativeness of Parent Councils (including gender imbalances and difficulties in recruiting members from more deprived, less middle-class and less formally educated backgrounds).

Pupil engagement with parents/carers

In the 2016 Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN) pupil questionnaire at least half of pupils generally reported that someone at home engages with them about school 'very often'.

In 2016, P7 pupils tended to respond more positively to the question ' How often someone asked you what you did at school' ( 78% responded 'very often') compared with P4 and S2 (both 71%).

For the primary sector, there was no change between 2011 and 2016, but there was an increase of four percentage points at S2. So by 2016, seven out ten pupils had someone at home regularly asking them what they did in school.

In 2016, P7 pupils tended to respond more positively to the question 'How often someone asked you what you did at school' (78% responded 'very often') compared with P4 and S2 (both 71%).

In 2016, the proportion of pupils responding 'very often' to the question ' How often does someone at home help you with your homework' was 65% for P7 pupils, followed by 59% for S2 pupils and 53% for P4 pupils.

In 2016, the proportion of pupils responding 'very often' to the question 'How often does someone at home help you with your homework' was 65% for P7 pupils, followed by 59% for S2 pupils and 53% for P4 pupils.

In 2016, 77% of P7 and S2 pupils reported that someone at home told them school was important 'very often' ( 65% at P4).

For P7 and S2 there has been no significant change in responses to this question between 2011 and 2016, for P4 there was a slight decrease of four percentage points in those saying this happens 'very often'.

In 2016, 77% of P7 and S2 pupils reported that someone at home told them school was important 'very often' (65% at P4).


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