PTA UK survey: parents’ engagement in education policy
February 10, 2017
PTA UK has published the results of its annual survey of parents. The survey sets out to understand how parents feel about educational issues.
The main findings were:
Parents want to be consulted more by government and schools generally
Parents have an appetite to be more actively engaged in school-life
Among parents, there is a lack of understanding about government education policy
PTA UK found that the majority (84%) of the 1514 parents surveyed wanted to be consulted by their child’s school on a regular basis but found their engagement with “decision making groups” within school was low. Asked whether their child’s school takes action based on their feedback, 46% of respondents disagreed or did not give an opinion. According to PTA UK, this suggests “schools need to improve taking action as a result of parent views or communicating when they have done so”.
Young parents (aged 25-34) were most likely to have volunteered their time and skills in school by being a school governor or trustee. According to PTA UK, 18% have done so at some point and 8% recently. This contrasts with findings by NGA and TES in 2016, which found only 11% of 5000 respondents were under 40. It should be noted, however, that PTA UK’s sample of younger parents was just 206.
PTA UK also found that younger parents can feel intimidated about getting involved in their child’s school. According to PTA UK, this may go some way towards explaining the lower level of involvement at governance level by young parents compared to other age groups. PTA UK says: “If this is the case, it raises the question as to how schools can effectively support younger parents in stepping up and getting more involved in governance from an earlier stage.”