Teaching unions concerned about parents’ online anonymous comments

by - 30th September 2011, 16.24 BST

Teaching unions have criticised Ofsted’s plans to allow parents to comment anonymously about their child’s school online.

Parents will be able to answer an online questionnaire about the school without having to identify themselves.

ATL’s general secretary Mary Bousted said: “This is deeply worrying to us. Whilst it is important that parents play a role in their children’s education, we think that is better served with strong relationships between the school and parents – and not through anonymous online surveys that are open to abuse.

“We’re also concerned that there are not enough safeguards in place to avoid this website being misused, potentially by people who aren’t parents of children in the reviewed school.”

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: “Parents are generally very supportive of their children’s schools. What is important for parents is that they have a voice in schools and that their views are taken seriously.

“It is not clear therefore why parents, who may have quite legitimate questions to which they seek answers, would choose to do so through the online parental website rather than speak directly to their child’s school. “We support parental engagement in the inspection process but the online facility has too much potential for being used in a malicious fashion.”