Daily Archives: March 21, 2011

Parents asked to rate schools

“Parents will be able to direct inspectors to failing schools via a new website to be set up by the education watchdog.

Positive or negative feedback from parents in response to a set of 10 multiple choice questions will help Ofsted decide which schools to inspect.

The new website, to be launched in September, will be linked to schools’ homepages and could publish some of the feedback by showing parents’ overall rates of satisfaction for individual schools.

Exact details on how the website will work have not been decided, but it is likely parents will be able to give feedback using only an email address as identification.

It comes as part of a new inspection framework that puts failing schools under greater scrutiny and aims to speed up the rate of improvement where it is needed.

In contrast there will be no more routine inspections of outstanding schools, with inspectors only to be called in if serious concerns are raised.”

Read the article by Nick Collins in full here

Our View

This is an interesting concept and when we first read the article there were several questions that came to mind;

1) Who decides on the 10 questions? Will schools be involved in the decision-making process?

2) Why can parents appear to ‘hide’ behind an email address as the only form of identification? Surely if parents are leaving feedback that could trigger a potential inspection, then schools should be given the opportunity to know exactly who the parent is?

3) As the article highlights, schools will also be able to request parents to ‘go online and give them positive feedback’ – so how will this be monitored and fairness assured?

The first pilot will be taking place in 10 schools before Easter, with a wider pilot to take place during the Summer Term. What are your views?

Ex-Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy invests in homework site

“Sir Terry Leahy, one of Britain’s best known businessmen, has made his first significant investment since leaving Tesco.

The former chief executive of the UK’s largest retailer has invested in stuckonhomework.com, a video-based online teaching tool for GCSE students.

The first website of its kind in the UK, stuckonhomework.com, will provide homework help for students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Based on the school curriculum, and featuring real teachers, the website launches today.”

Read the article by Emma Wall in full here

Our View

With a hugely successful businessman such as Terry Leahy involved, this new homework site is bound to be a big success. It’ll be interesting to see how the quality of the content is maintained, as that can often be a deciding factor for users. We wish them luck with the new venture.