Commenting on a survey by Parentkind showing that parents want schools to be more accountable to them, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “School leaders know that a close working relationship with parents is vital. Schools routinely consult with parents in both a formal and non-formal manner. However, it is important that we recognise that within a community of parents there is always a diverse range of views and it is rare to find agreement amongst parents on topics such as homework, behaviour and even curriculum. It is right that schools should be expected to consult with parents, but they must also be trusted to use their own professional judgement and expertise to take decisions and set policies that are in the interests of all pupils.
“It’s interesting to note that many parents have voiced their concern that the current system places too much emphasis on exam performance. This is a concern that our members share. Whilst academic success is clearly important, we need an accountability system that values the wider work of schools too. We’d urge the government to take note of parents’ priorities in this survey – children’s happiness and enjoyment of learning, as well as the development of soft skills and character traits for life, rate far more highly than exam results or Ofsted judgements.
"NAHT's improving school accountability report was published in September and makes nine sensible recommendations to rebalance the accountability system. We think Ofsted should include these in its upcoming consultation and should press pause on implementing its new framework rather than rushing it through as they are doing at present. We'll be welcoming Amanda Spielman to our national executive committee this week to discuss school leaders concerns and continue the dialogue with Ofsted to make sure that the new frame
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