Parents prize discipline over quality teaching


Good school discipline is more important to parents that the quality of teaching, national research has revealed.

The results of more than 420,000 parental surveys have been analysed to reveal the top five areas of importance for parents when it comes to their child’s school.

The top priorities, in order of importance, are:

  • School discipline.

  • Teaching quality.

  • Happiness of child.

  • Control of bullying.

  • Caring teachers.

Notably, exam results do not appear in the top five and rarely in the top 10 for most schools. 

The results also show that “caring teachers” are more important to girls’ parents, while “developing potential” is more important to boys’ parents.

The statistics, which have been published by the National Governors’ Association and Kirkland Rowell Surveys, part of GL Performance, also show changing parental concerns as children progress through school, with academic issues coming to the fore as students approach their examinations.

Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governors’ Association, said: “Governing bodies need to understand what parents think about their school. Parents’ views can inform both the evaluation of the school’s current performance, and the strategic plans for the future. We are encouraging all governing bodies to make sure they are collecting and thoroughly considering information from parents.”

Ian Rowe, general manager at GL Performance, added: “Our survey results show that parents want schools to support their children in becoming well-rounded individuals that are happy, confident and socially and morally aware. Of course, academic success is important, but developing children as a whole is rated more highly than exam results.”


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