I’m Andrew Cook, Ofsted’s new Regional Director in the East of England. I was a primary school headteacher in Staffordshire before joining Ofsted in 2005 to be one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors. Having worked in education for many years I know how important it is to ensure that schools provide a safe, calm and orderly environment for our children, and I see from both perspectives how important Ofsted’s role is in protecting the interests of parents and the public, and how parents rely on us to tell them how well schools are doing.
I’m a few months into the role of Director in the East of England region, which includes Hertfordshire, and it’s clear that Hertfordshire stands out in the region as a place where schools and pupils are generally doing well at every stage, including in the early years.
The percentage of good and outstanding schools in Hertfordshire has risen from 77% in August 2013 to 83% in August 2014. Attainment for children in Hertfordshire is in the top 25% nationally at most key stages and continues to improve in relation to the national figures. For example in Stevenage, the percentage of good and outstanding schools has improved from 56% in August 2013 to 73% in August 2014. And as you may know, in Ofsted’s Annual Report 2014
we highlighted Hertfordshire County Council, through Herts for Learning, as an example of a local authority which works well to support its schools to improve and maintain high standards.
Of course we can’t be complacent about this positive picture, and one of the key ways for Ofsted to keep on top of what is happening in an area like Hertfordshire is to gather parents views.
I want to really emphasise how important it is that more parents tell Ofsted what they think of their child’s school - and not just at the time of an inspection, we want to hear your views at any time of the year. Whether you think the school is doing a great job, or if you have any concerns.
The easy way to tell us what you think is by registering with Parent View, our online survey, available on the Ofsted website at https://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/
. Parent View asks 12 questions such as whether you think your child receives appropriate homework for their age, whether you think the school deals with bullying effectively and whether you would recommend the school to another parent.
To register on Parent View you just have to enter an email address, and then select a secure password for your account. Once you have completed the survey you can go back at any time and refresh your views, overwriting your previous responses.
When we receive a minimum of 10 responses for a school, the results are made public so you can see what other parents think of any school in Hertfordshire and across England – Parent View can be a useful source of information to help you make an informed choice about the best school for your child. Parent View can also provide valuable information to help headteachers and governors improve schools.
I really hope parents in Hertfordshire find the time to tell us what you think about your child’s school. And if you’ve already submitted a response on Parent View, thank you very much!