The future accountability of teachers: engaging parents and carers in the debate

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Office for Public Management (London, England)
General Teaching Council for England
Date of publication
1 July 2010
Education and Skills, Families
Social welfare
Material type

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This project was commissioned to investigate parents’ and carers’ views of possible future accountability arrangements. The research had four objectives: to investigate parents’ and carers’ views of the different dimensions of accountability in teaching: accountability for what, to whom and by what means; to explore the underlying reasons for these views; to identify parents’ and carers’ perspectives on the trade-offs to be made between different accountability requirements, including institutional/professional and national/local; and to explore with parents and carers their perspectives on developments in accountability that purport to address their needs, and those of children and young people in teaching. The research was divided into two stages, the first looking at current arrangements and the second looking at possible future arrangements.

It emerged from the first stage that most of the primary school parents involved in this project said they had good relationships with their children’s schools, and felt positively towards their children’s teachers. The relationships between secondary school parents and the teachers at their child/ren’s school appeared to be less positive. Both the positive and the negative perceptions relate primarily to communication and responsiveness. Whilst primary parents see their child/ren’s teachers as available, visible and easy to talk to, secondary school parents saw their child/ren’s teachers as unavailable, often uncommunicative and somewhat remote. The strongest finding of the second stage was that parents wanted to retain the broad structure of the existing national accountability system, and had concerns about replacing it with entirely local, school-based or parent-led accountability arrangements.

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