School questionnaires gather feedback from parents, pupils and staff.
Parent surveys: Communication
Demonstrating to Ofsted effective communication with parents is important for all schools. To help with this, NFER can share some general analysis of the feedback parents have given in recent survey responses.
For example when parents were asked if they felt they were well informed about their child’s progress, 88% said they either strongly agree or agree.
The survey also asks for open feedback on how parents feel that communication from the school could be improved.
When asked what communications worked well, these were the popular choices with parents:
- Text messages
- Phone calls
- Open communication with teachers (before / after school or by appointment)
Certain types of communication worked well for particular types of information, for example, parents said they liked text messages for reminders and change of plans, and preferred newsletters for news, events and policy reminders.
Parents were asked what they felt the school could do to improve communication, and whilst the below may seem obvious, all of the following suggestions have been made by parents within the past year.
- Keeping newsletters regular
- Keeping websites up to date
- Having an online system for parents to share homework , merits etc
- Updating comments in homework books and diaries
- Sending information in advance (like a list of major school dates for the year ahead)
- Allowing communication with teachers via email
- Giving plenty of notice of events
- Not relying on children to pass on paperwork
- Emailing both, not just one parent
- Having both an electronic and paper option for important paperwork
- Having a notice board visible to parents
- Adhering to the strict timings during parents evenings
- Communicating policies (sickness and other) at the beginning of term
- Discussing costly school trips and activities with parents before children.
Additional tips for better communication with parents
Whichever methods of communication your school chooses to use, parents highlighted the importance of being able to find and access the required information, with some parents admitting they were not sure how to use social media channels effectively or even how to navigate the school website.
Parents commented on the importance of proofreading newsletters (believe it or not, mistakes can happen). Some parents wanted reminders on school policies to be included in newsletters, and others suggested sending newsletters out regularly so they know when to expect them.
If you want results that are specific to your school then NFER Parent Surveys can help you gather feedback to inform your improvement planning. The NFER Communication Survey is one of the themed surveys that can be used in conjunction with the General Parent Survey. Click here to find out more.