Our survey for parents was purposely brief and simple with just 3 basic questions:
- What does the school do well?
- What suggestions/improvements do you have?
- What skills, qualities & attributes would you like your child(ren) to have developed when they leave our school that will help make them thrive in this changing world? I.e. What makes a great learner?
As you can see below the results are very interesting and indicate a strong parental preference for various personal competencies and attributes.
The fact that the 3 "R's" rated relatively low (in many schools I think this would be rated much higher or even the highest!) is testament to the parent education we have done regarding the importance of a well-rounded curriculum/learning programme and our concerns that National Standards may restrict and narrow our curriculum.
Note: We had done a lot of prior information and education around learning and the curriculum. If this had not been done, then parents' responses may well have been different because people don't know what they don't know (This is in no way meant to sound condescending or disrespectful in any way, it's just that there is such a huge paradigm shift that its hard enough for education professionals to adapt and understand the changes!).
To an extent Henry Ford & Steve Job's quotes below apply, although.... it is critical to involve your stakeholders and seek their opinions, and then to communicate carefully the changes.