School Choice: The Parent View

David Sims, Ben Durbin, Karen Wespieser

24 April 2015

This quantitative report presents parents’ views of school choice, local accountability and academy schools. The survey was conducted in December 2014 and January 2015 with a representative sample of 1,005 parents of children aged 5-18 in England.

The following blog posts also discuss this report: I have a choice, School choice, a social mobility issue?, Local schools for local kids, and Um, but what is an academy?.

Key Findings

 

School choice

  • The majority of parents felt that they had a genuine choice in choosing a school
  • Parents believe schools should be locally accountable
  • Local factors are the most important to parents when choosing a school
  • Household income affects school choice

Local accountability

  • A majority of parents believe schools should be locally accountable
  • Local actors, such as the headteacher, classroom teachers and school governors are seen by parents as being most responsible for the quality of their children's education
  • Less than half of parents feel that they have a say in how their child's school is run

Academy schools

  • A test of parents' knowledge of academies reveals many are confused about what an academy is and the differences between academies and maintained schools
  • When directly asked ‘how much do you feel you know about academy schools?’, a majority of parents admitted that they did not know much
  • Many parents want more information about academy schools, especially those with children at an academy
Read the report Read the article