Parent Voice 2022

In partnership with Parentkind, Dynata


10th January 2023

We are delighted to share a new report for Parentkind, which draws on a large national survey to understand parents’ experience of their children’s education. The Parent Voice 2022 survey asked parents what they think about school funding, cost of living, parental engagement in education and wider school life, and mental health, among other pressing topics.

The Parent Voice 2022 survey, conducted by Dynata, produced a wealth of fascinating findings and it was up to CfEY to pick out the most salient findings and compelling arguments for policy action. We’re really pleased to have worked on a project that allowed us to bring our policy nouse to such a rich data set.

The wide-ranging policy thinkpiece presents some key findings from Parentkind’s 2022 survey and provides a series of policy recommendations. Underlying all recommendations is a belief that parents are key stakeholders in their children’s education and that policy should reflect this. Read the full report here.

School funding and the cost of living crisis

The government should provide a cost of living top-up to pupil premium enabling schools with more disadvantaged pupils to spend money on measures that ‘poverty proof’ the school day. Parent groups, such as PTAs, could then be used to determine how this money could best be spent.

The government should expand FSM eligibility to ease the pressure on lower income families and review school submission timelines to ensure that the maximum number of eligible parents are able to apply.

Parental engagement in their children’s learning

To support schools to practise evidence-informed parental engagement:

Oak National Academy (an online classroom and resource hub that was set-up during the pandemic) should build in opportunities for parental engagement into lesson plans.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) should fund randomised control trials of interventions that include parental engagement as a core component to address the weak evidence base in this area.

The government and all delivery partners involved in the National Tutoring Programme should seek to understand and improve how tutoring interventions can become levers to improve parental engagement in their children’s learning.

Connecting schools, parents and the wider community

To improve parental engagement in careers education:

Ofsted should update the terms of reference for their thematic review of careers guidance to consider the views of parents and stakeholders and consider how schools can engage parents as partners in furthering children’s careers education.

The ‘personal guidance’ Gatsby Benchmark should be expanded to include parents as key stakeholders.

To improve parental and community engagement with MATs, the government should ensure that the new collaborative standard:

Provides a clear signal that MATs should support schools’ parental engagement work, with associated investment in CPD.

Outlines ways in which MATs could engage with other MATs, LA-maintained schools and special schools to pool parental engagement resources/approaches through partnership.

Promotes collaboration with VCS, civic universities and other actors, to help build a picture of how parents in a local area want schools to engage with their local community.

Mental health and wellbeing

The government should commit to additional funding for mental health services in schools, particularly in the context of a cost of living crisis that may well worsen existing challenges. These issues are discussed in Parentkind’s recent mental health report.

As recommended in the COVID Social Mobility and Opportunities Study mental health briefing, LA services such as Integrated Care Partnerships “should support families where psychological distress is common and work with schools to ensure support offered is well coordinated. Services should be easy for families and young people to identify and access, recognising cultural and social differences in the families accessing them”.

Schools should improve their engagement with parents when developing their policies around the issue of sexual harassment. They should also improve their communication with parents when incidents are reported. This should build on the DfE’s existing parent-focused relationships, sex and health education resources.

If you’d like to discuss this report further, please do get in touch: [email protected]