I thought I’d share a site with you that was shared with me. You may have heard about it, but you probably haven’t. I hadn’t either until this morning!
The website is called Parent View and it allows parents to record their thoughts about their child’s school. Visitors to the website can then look at the findings and (I presume) judge the schools depending on what parents have said. Sounds a bit like the ‘Rate my Teacher’ website from a little while ago (or the ‘Rate my Doctor’ website that was ridiculed in an episode of Scrubs). So is it a good idea? Let’s start with the first point…
Who runs the website? Ofsted.
So is this because they want to see what parents say and then come and visit with that data in mind? If 20 parents (or 200?) click ‘strongly disagree’ enough times, will the inspectors come knocking?
Now to give them credit they have set it up so that users ahve to register before commenting on a school and each email address can only be used once, if you try writing a 2nd time it will over-write the first one and so on. Of course a REALLY malicious parent could have multiple email addresses but there’s not much that can be done about that I guess.
My question is who will be the parents that will bother filling this in? Will it be the majority? No. I think it will be the ones with something to get off their chest.
One flaw is that results are just shown ‘as-is’ without any time filtering. Now anyone that has used Trip Advisor will know, you only want results from the past 6 months or a year. What about the school going through difficulties now, but clears them in 3 years? Will their data still show that parents are unhappy? Surely filtering by latest results would be nicer and ore useful?
Another question is, what do schools do about it? My school is classed as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted so my approach will be different to other people’s I’m sure but we will be adding the link to the voting and results pages on our school website. I am doing this partly because there are so many ‘St John the Baptist Primary Schools’ and partly because I think it is better to be open with these kind of things rather than hiding them away in case a parent has something negative to say.
So, you’re curious to see what parents have said about your school aren’t you? Well the website can be found here: http://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/
And just for fairness, here is the link to my school’s (currently blank) results page: http://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/parent-view-results/survey/result/12065/1
Is this website a good idea? Will you use it? For the parents out there, will you go and rate you child’s school?