Lessons for the coalition government in parents’ poll

A survey of parents, carried out by independent polling company ComRes and commissioned by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, has found that:

  • the overwhelming majority of parents (87%) are satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of their child’s teachers;
  • more than 9 out of 10 parents (95%) agree that it is important that children are taught by teachers who are professionally qualified;
  • location was the top priority for over two thirds of parents (67%) when choosing a school;
  • fewer than a third of parents (29%) checked the league table position when choosing a school, with most parents (54%) looking online for general information and talking to parents of current pupils (53%);
  • almost three quarters of parents (73%) agreed there should be much stronger regulations over how much schools are allowed to charge for the services they provide to pupils, with over a third (36%) of parents saying the cost of educational visits is not affordable, 33% saying the same about school uniforms and a fifth (20%) for the cost of equipment.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“It is clear that on many of the key education policy issues the majority of parents do not share Coalition Ministers’ views.

“It remains the case that for the majority of parents the locality of a school is a key factor, supporting the NASUWT’s long-argued view that what every parent wants is access to a good local school.

“It is clear that punitive ranking of schools in performance league tables is not something on which the majority of parents rely and therefore schools, parents and children are subjected to this negative annual ritual unnecessarily.

“Parents’ concerns about the rising cost of education vindicate the warnings given by the NASUWT to Coalition Ministers that on their watch access to educational provision is increasingly now on the basis of parents’ ability to pay.

“The fact that the overwhelming majority of parents agree that it is important that children are taught by teachers who are professionally qualified is a damning indictment of the Coalition’s decision to remove the requirement for all schools to employ qualified teachers.

“The very high level of satisfaction that parents indicate with the quality of their child’s teachers makes all the more outrageous the constant denigration the profession has suffered at the hands of this government, denigration which only ceased when the General Election came into view.

“On the issues which parents value highly, the Coalition’s core education policies have failed to deliver.”

Notes to editors

A copy of the survey findings is attached.

The ComRes poll was commissioned by the NASUWT.

ComRes interviewed 1,019 parents of children attending primary, secondary or further education in the UK between 19 and 21 September 2014. Data were weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the population.

ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.  Full data tables are available on the ComRes website, www.comres.co.uk

Lena Davies
Press and Media Officer
0121 457 6250 / 07867 392746