The school’s Inspectorate is to set up a website to allow parents to effectively rate their children’s school and the results will be online for all to see. Well, not really! However, their counterparts in England, Ofsted, have done exactly this. I just read this morning on Ian Addison’s Blog how Ofsted have already set up Parent View, where they are seeking parents’ views on their children’s school. How do you think such a site would be viewed here in Ireland?
On this website, parents are asked to fill out a questionnaire with 12 questions where they are asked to indicate how strongly they agree with a statement eg. ‘My child is happy at this school’ with a choice of responses: Strongly agree/Agree/Disagree/Strongly disagree/Don’t know. Ofsted do make a point of saying that this website is not the forum for the airing of grievances with a school. They also require parents to register with the site, giving an email address, before being allowed to fill out the questionnaire. Each email address will only be allowed to be used once to fill out the questionnaire.
So, do you think that such a website would be welcomed in this country? Would it be open to abuse? Would parents bother with registering and filling out a questionnaire? Would it give some parents a stick with which to beat a school they are unhappy with? Or would schools and teachers welcome such a development with open arms?
It is self defeating for teachers to be negative about developments such as this. Media and other spotlights will focus on the conflict which ensues. We should embrace openness and encourage parents to take part. Turn what seems like a potential negative into a positive. In the end if the cranks take over, it will be very evident.
‘Rate My Parenting’ can we introduce this also to comment on individual parenting skills or lack of, why would we follow the UK i.e. riots, ASBO laws and wider segregation of public and private schools then is evident here. I think a website is a farce an all levels such as abuse, misleading information, student posting abuse.