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PTA-UK Coalition Education Policy A parent perspective January 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "PTA-UK Coalition Education Policy A parent perspective January 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 PTA-UK Coalition Education Policy A parent perspective January 2011

2 PTA-UK Registered charity ( ) and membership organisation Support for PTAs and all other forms of home-school association in England, Wales and Northern Ireland Over 13,500 PTAs in membership with a sustained 96% annual rate of retention In 2011, PTA-UK is celebrating its 55th Anniversary Membership of PTA-UK brings a range of benefits, including: –a subscription linked insurance policy with £10 million public liability insurance for PTA activities and events wherever held; –support for charity registration including bespoke model constitution; –training events for PTA committee members; –PTA online file storage and dedicated social network; –PTA-UK national advice line; –support from a locally based adviser; and –at least five free editions of PTA Magazine a year. 2

3 3 Research Objectives Giving parents the chance to speak for themselves Giving parents a voice in a fast changing policy arena Representing the views of parents on the education policy of the Coalition Government Charitable status gives political neutrality

4 Coverage Academies and Free schools Pupil premium Teachers and heads Discipline and behaviour Safeguarding and child welfare National Curriculum and assessment SEN provision Volunteering and National Citizen Service Higher Education Budget cuts 4

5 5 Methodology In-depth interviews with 460 demographically representative parents –England only –All parents of state school children –Random sampling of general population of parents and not based on PTA-UK membership –representative data by class, region and BME profile Conducted by telephone survey Externally appointed market research agency ELUCIDATION/Miriam Clark Associates Repeat of the PTA-UK parent research conducted in December This had not previously been published due to the sensitive nature of the content in the run up to the 2010 General Election. It is used in part for comparative purposes

6 Sample 460 in-depth telephone interviews (confidence interval is +/- 4.6%) Regionally representative for England 55% C1, C2 57% male children, 43% female children 83% parents/carers aged % BME Split by school: Primary 44% / Secondary (ex 6th form) 39% / 6th form total 18% (8% of which 6th form/FE college) Base 773 children in sample: –70% state schools, 16% faith schools, 6% grammar, 1% selective on ability, 5% specialist schools, 1% special needs school –3% (14) of total had one or more children in private school as well as children in state school 6

7 Key Findings: parents make up their own minds about education reform Enthusiastic about the introduction of a new primary reading test for all children in Year 1 and a National Citizenship Service Support proposals for teachers to be allowed to be anonymous whilst inquiries into accusations of misconduct are on-going Since January 2010, there is increased awareness of new style Academies and Free Schools along with greater support for autonomy amongst schools But the majority of parents disagree with Academies being able to select for admissions on ability and there has been a decrease in the numbers saying they are willing to set-up a Free School Want all teachers to be registered with an external regulation body and want regulation to be conducted by either governors or an external body as opposed to the Department for Education 7

8 Key Findings: parents make up their own minds about education reform Don’t identify with concerns about discipline and behaviour but the majority do want anyone who has contact with their child to be CRB checked Prefer teachers and curriculum experts to determine the National Curriculum and are opposed to the return of ‘old style’ harder exams Feel that school uniform and rewards/punishments schemes are already being used to address discipline and behaviour There is confusion about the Pupil Premium and how this will operate Concerns about safety are linked to bullying and cyber bullying Interest in using teacher absence records as part of school selection process Report a significant interest amongst children in going onto Higher Education but there is uncertainty about how this will be afforded 8

9 Academies 81% awareness of the new-style academies Concerns about greater independence –Will become more selective / elitist (28%) –All schools should follow the same curriculum / standards (25%) –Schools should stay within local authority / government control (10%) 9 * 29% of all respondents

10 Free schools 10

11 Free Schools: demand Where parents feel there might be a need for Free Schools: If there is a local need (24%) –If there are failing / poor schools in the area (13%) –If there are no schools in the area (8%) –If there is a need for them (4%) Up to the parents / parents know best (21%) –Freedom of choice / parental right (9%) –Parents know their children / want the best for them (5%) –Parents unhappy with local schools (2%) –Parents would have more control (3%) –Parents know the area better (1%) Better standards/greater options (10%) –Creates more competition / options (5%) –Provide a better standard than state schools (3%), –To provide a better education for their child (3%) 11

12 Free Schools: parental concerns Parents aren’t qualified (43%) –The only parents who could afford / have the ability to set up a school are of a certain class / culture (4%) –Parents could become disinterested in the school once their children have left (3)% –Parents would not have enough time (2%), parents might be biased towards their own children (2%), parents would disagree on too many things (2%) Concerns about how Free School are regulated and/or happy with current system (10%) –They should stay within local authority / government control (5%), our schools are good enough at the moment (3%), all schools should follow the same curriculum / standards (2%) They will become elitist (4%), pupils should be able to interact with other types of children (2%) Parents should help improve current schools instead (5%) They will take money/resources away from other schools (2%) 12

13 Pupil Premium Parents seemed undecided about the Pupil Premium but it should be noted that the survey was conducted before detailed information about how this would operate was published. Parents do favour the use of Free School Meals to support children from poorer homes (89%). 13 Should schools with higher levels of children from poorer homes get more funding than other schools in the same borough or county?

14 Teacher regulation Want teachers to be regulated – to have reached an agreed level of training and to have registered with a regulatory body before taking up a teaching role Agree with proposals to allow teachers to remain anonymous while inquiries into accusations of misconduct are on-going Want allegations of professional incompetence or unacceptable behaviour to be investigated by an external regulatory body (40%) or the school including governors (32%) as opposed to the Department for Education (21%) 14

15 Teacher salary/absence and school selection Parents are unequivocal that they would not use teacher salary information when making decisions about school selection However, they seem more likely to use information about teacher absence records when deciding about schools. This seems to reflect what is already known about parents’ concerns regarding the continuity of teaching Parents show some contradiction on the subject of headteachers’ pay. They think this should be no higher than that of the Prime Minister but also think that school governing bodies should ultimately decide what the headteacher is paid 15

16 Discipline and behaviour by school type Parents report relatively low level concerns about discipline and behaviour by school type: –13% have concerns at primary school –16% have concerns at secondary school (to yr 11) –11% have concerns at school 6th form and –9% have concerns at 6th form/FE college 16

17 Discipline and behaviour: increased powers 17 Do schools need more powers? Support same day detentions? Only around a third of parents feel that schools need increased powers to address discipline and behaviour. Parental views on same day detentions are mixed but more feel they are appropriate as children get older.

18 Discipline and behaviour: increased powers 18 Support for school uniform?Rewards and punishments? Parents are likely to support the use of school uniform and systems of rewards and punishments to instil good behaviour. However, on average around a third highlight that both are already in place

19 Do you feel your child is safe at school? Parents overwhelmingly feel that their child is safe in school. These views remain consistent Face-to-face (F2F)or cyber bulling is the danger that parents are most likely to report as having happened to their child; overall 6% of parents report cyber bullying whilst 14% report F2F bullying. Parents of younger children report F2F bullying as more of an issue. Cyber bullying affects older children Parents seem to perceive both these issues as more significant than their own reported first hand experience would demonstrate Overall parents report a very low level of awareness of weapons in school; 2% at primary and 7% at secondary 19

20 Do schools do enough about safety? Secondary parents are less certain, with 10% of Yr 7 – 11 parents and 12% of school 6th form parents thinking schools could do more Of those who want more done (75 respondents), the most frequent suggestions were; –Primary: Greater oversight (90%), take mobiles away, search suspects, address F2F bullying and use counselling (all 80%) –Secondary: search pupils (89%), address F2F and support for cyber- bullying (78%), use counselling (73%), greater oversight (68%) –6th form/FE: address F2F and cyber-bullying and use counselling (100%), search pupils and greater oversight (83%) 20

21 Safety reforms Parents who felt schools should do more were asked about specific ideas to improve the safety of children in school –70% of Yr 7-11 parents agreed younger (Yr 7 - 8) children shouldn’t leave the school during breaks –61% of yr 7-11 parents and a third of school 6th form parents agree older children (year 9 and above) children should not be allowed off premises –Parents are more likely to agree with searching children for banned items during Yr 7 – 11 (88%). This is less popular for primary children (75%) and declines for 6 th form (50%) –Again, parents are more likely to agree with punishing children for their behaviour to and from school at secondary (61%) with only 50% agreeing with this for primary pupils and 6 th form –Parents are broadly supportive of proposals to strengthen the guidance and legislation surrounding the use of force in classrooms (71%) 21 Bases: Yr7-11: 33, School 6th form: 12, 6 th form/FE: 4

22 CRB checks The majority of parents still want anyone who is involved with their children at school to be CRB checked Parents are still happy to be CRB checked 22

23 National Curriculum: Who should decide what children learn? 23

24 National Curriculum: remit What should the National Curriculum cover? –An overview of the core knowledge and understanding required (50%) –Everything children should learn about (37%) –The minimum standards for reading, writing and numeracy only (9%) –Don’t know (2%) Is the balance between academic and vocational education about right? –Yes (72%) –No, it’s too academic (16%) –No, it’s too vocational (6%) –Don’t know (6%) 24

25 Tests and Exams: Yr1 reading test 25

26 Secondary tests and exams - England only In the Jan 2010 survey a quarter of secondary school parents stated ‘exams are easier now than when they were at school’, but half disagreed –In Jan 2011, 41% of secondary parents of year 9 and over children feel that GCSE’s are easier now than when they were at school, 27% (or 45 parents) disagree –Of the year 9 and above parents, just under half (47%) think that GCSE’s should remain as they are, just over a third feel that they should be a mixture of final exams and coursework. Only 8% think they should be back to the old style of exams at the end of the course only –Of the year 10 and above parents, 53% ‘don’t know’ if A’Levels are easier than when they were at school, 17% think they are, 24% think they are not –42% of parents of year 10 and above children don’t think A’Levels should be made harder, 36% think they should be made harder, 22% are unsure. 26

27 Special needs children The sample who have SEN children by school type is: –Primary 10% (24 households), Yr % (34 households), School 6th form 12% (9 households) and 6th form/FE 12% (7 households) The majority of primary and secondary school parents feel that their child is well supported by the school, 6th form/FE colleges are less convinced Not surprisingly, parents who feel that their child is well supported feel strongly that their child is in the best place for them 27 Is your child well supported?

28 Special needs children Why do you feel your child isn’t well supported? For Primary school –My daughter isn't diagnosed as being 'bad enough' to have support from the school –The school is making my daughter conform to their polices but they do not accommodate her For Yr 7-11 –My son is left to defend for himself as he has dyslexia and the school don't recognise this –Need more contact from the school about how my child's learning abilities are progressing –Occasionally they used to get an additional reader for her but it's getting less and less often –They have removed a subject from A level which my child needed to study to further his career choice –They lack speech therapy and support within the mainstream school, he doesn't get enough attention For school 6th form –Quite a lot of the time reports say she has a problem with concentration but they have been unwilling to help her For 6th form/FE colleges –Because my son is extremely dyslexic and he went to great lengths to inform the college but they didn't help –I would like to be more involved –They didn't notice it 28

29 Volunteering Younger parents aged (88%) and C1’s (88%) are keenest on the concept of a National Citizen’s Service 29

30 Higher Education funding 53% of secondary school parents think HE should be funded through general taxation, only 12% think it should be funded through fees and student loans. –slightly more AB saying through increase in fees and student loans and slightly more C1’s saying through general taxation Other answers include: a combination of all of them (1%), a combination of graduate tax and general taxation (1%), Government funding (2%) 30

31 Higher education and your child 83% of parents of yr 10 and above children think that their child is interested in going to HE 54% think that the increases in student fees will make it less likely that their children will be able to go to HE, 30% don’t think there will be any effect on their ability. –AB (50%) and BME (50%, or 3 parents) more likely to think no effect –C2 (67%) most worried and think it less likely 31

32 Higher education - funding your child 30% of parents of yr 10 and above children are unsure how they will fund HE (C1’s and ABs most unsure) 24% think their child will pay for it with a student loan (most likely DE option) 21% think it will be shared between themselves and their child (C1’s agree) 14% think their child will not be able to go (DE agree) 11% think that they will pay for their child (C1 slightly agree) 32

33 Budget cuts Making sure that children with learning difficulties are supported is the greatest priority to ring fence for parents, along with TAs and teacher training. Infrastructure (repairs/new schools), training for TAs, Surestart and Diplomas still highly valued by over half of all parents 33

34 What one thing the government could do to help your child’s education? Funding and budgets –Allow places of education to manage their own budgets (0.44%), Build more schools / improve current facilities (1%), Give more money to schools / education (5%), Don't cut the education budget (4%), Bring back the EMA (1%), Don't increase university fees (3%), Free university education (1%), Cut university fees (1%) Teachers & TAs –More teaching assistants (1%), Make sure the standard of teaching is high / improving (3%), Better qualified / trained teachers (3%), Listen to the teachers / allow them to teach (2%), Give more power back to the teachers (1%), Remove the bad teachers (0.44%), More one-to-one tuition / support (1%) Make it simpler/less bureaucratic/back to basics –Cut the red tape / bureaucracy (1%), Go back to basics (2%), Stop changing the system / interfering all the time (3%) Nothing (4%) More vocational –Introduce more vocational courses (1%), Teach 'life skills' at schools (1%), More sports lessons in schools (1%) 34

35 For further information please contact Annette Wiles Policy and Research Manager PTA-UK


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