Less than 0.1% of Ofsted inspections were triggered by parents


Over two years ago, an independent education watchdog announced that Ofsted inspections could be prompted by anonymous parents’ complaints. However, recent figures have shown that in practice, only four out of 22,000 schools faced immediate inspection as a result of a parents’ complaint. "On four occasions, Ofsted conducted an immediate inspection of a school as a result of a complaint," the watchdog said. 

In 2011 when the education watchdog announced that parents’ could influence Ofsted inspections, head teachers feared that there could be a surge in malicious complaints. This, however, proved not to be the case, as figures from the following year do not suggest a rise in parental pressure. 

In the course of 2012-13, parent-driven complaints accounted for less than 0.1% of Ofsted inspections in the year. There were a total of 7,905 inspections, covering more than a third of schools. This included 5,847 primary and 1,334 secondary schools. From 2012-13, only 30 complaints were brought to Ofsted that counted as ‘school issues’ and therefore qualified for investigation. 

“It is not surprising that very few parents see the need to complain to Ofsted” Brian Lightman General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders. 

In 2012-13, there was, however, a larger proportion of parents contacting Ofsted with concerns. More than 3,200 issues were raised, but very few were considered sufficient enough to prompt an immediate inspection. For parents wanting to complain about the behaviour of an individual pupil in a school, advice was given on how to pursue their concerns with the school or local authority. Of the 30 complaints considered by Ofsted, most were found to be about the “leadership and management of a school and pupils’ well being.” These did not, however, result in an inspection. 

"Since the vast majority of complaints are resolved in these ways, it is not surprising that very few parents see the need to complain to Ofsted," said Mr Lightman, ASCL General Secretary “These figures prove that the vast majority of parents are satisfied with their child's school and are confident that a concern they raise with the head teacher will be dealt with effectively and professionally." 

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-26137554