6 December 2019
St Mary’s School upholds the view that ‘the parent is the first educator of the child’. It is committed to walk alongside parents, to build a good understanding and warm relationship between parents and teachers, in order to enhance each girl’s education.
Part of the School’s approach to opening up communication with parents, has been to invest in undertaking independent parent surveys in 2017 and 2019, across its Junior School, Senior School and Sixth Form. Conducted by educational specialists RSAcademics, these parental surveys have offered a clear indicator of parental priorities, which directly informed the School’s strategic planning.
Firstly, the results of St Mary’s 2019 survey revealed high levels of parental satisfaction across the board, from quality of teaching and leadership, to communication, academic challenge and pupil well-being. Over a third of parents indicated that St Mary’s School has exceeded their expectations.
One parent commented: “We love St Mary’s Junior School and have found it to be a very well run, inspiring place for our daughter to grow up and be educated.”
This positive response alone is a great morale boost for the School’s leaders, governors and staff across the School, confirming their efforts are resulting in positive parental opinion.
The real value comes from comparing the direction of travel, from 2017 to 2019. Here the impact of key strategic initiatives can clearly be seen. For example, in the past three years St Mary’s School has transformed its approach to teaching and learning, to become an accredited High Performance Learning World Class School. In 2019, 90% of Senior School and Sixth Form parents felt that the quality of teaching was ‘very good’ or ‘good’ which represents a 16% increase from 2017.
Similarly in the Junior School, communication, school transport and Parent Evening arrangements all received more ‘very good’ ratings in 2019, reflecting the time and effort St Mary’s staff have invested in enhancing these aspects of school life.
St Mary’s has also invested in defining what sets the School apart, in terms of the education it offers and its core ethos. In the 2019 survey, parents selected adjectives such as ‘encouraging’ ‘ambitious’, ‘inclusive’, ‘rounded’ and ‘dedicated’ to describe St Mary’s – which reassuringly resonate with the School’s vision for educating girls in the 21st century.
Finally, the 2019 survey will now play an integral role in shaping the ongoing strategy for the School, with a key parental priority to increase sporting opportunities already well underway, in the School’s ambitious Sport Development programme.
Charlotte Avery, Headmistress at St Mary’s School, comments: “I would recommend that all school leaders invest in parental surveys, as they offer great insight into what really matters to parents. At St Mary’s, they are integral to our strategic planning and the positive responses are very motivating in recognising the hard work of staff to enhance and innovate in many aspects of school life.”