9 June 2010

A research review published today by RISE (Research and Information on State Education) shows conclusively that, when asked in detailed surveys, the overwhelming majority of parents are satisfied with their children’s schools.

The publication of this review is timely in view of the attention currently being paid to the possibility that parents who are dissatisfied with local school provision might start their own schools.

The review analyses surveys of parents’ opinions about their children’s schools over the past five years. The analysis also reveals that, despite the emphasis placed on academic results by policy makers, the research contains much evidence to suggest that they are not as important to most parents as is often assumed.

Parents frequently say that they value factors such as good discipline, the happiness of their child, and good communication between school and home more than exam results. Ease of communication with the school and the provision of clear, accessible and regular information about their child’s progress is a priority for many parents.

Surveys also show that many parents are keen to be increasingly involved in school life and in supporting their children’s education outside school. They would welcome guidance from schools on how to achieve this.

The review is wide-ranging and includes parents’ views on communication, SEN, admissions, attainment and testing.

Margaret Tulloch, a Trustee of RISE, said ‘The Trustees’ aim in producing this review was to provide an accessible analysis of what parents say about their children’s schools. We hope it will help inform the debate at this important time of change in education.’

Notes to editors

The review was carried out for RISE by Caroline Roberts, an independent writer.

RISE is the Research and Information on State Education Trust. It is a charity which commissions research and provides information on state education. RISE reports have covered many issues of particular interest to parents, such as class size, school reports, home-school agreements, parental involvement in OFSTED inspections, school complaints procedures, specialist schools, parent governor representatives, parents and new schools and school admissions.

Read summary or download full report