Frequently asked questions

Q1: What is Ofsted Parent View? 

A: Ofsted Parent View is an on-line questionnaire and is the main source for gathering parents’ views about a school when it is inspected.  When parents and carers are notified of the school’s inspection, they have an opportunity to contribute their views through a short set of questions. 

Ofsted Parent View also gives parents and carers the chance to tell Ofsted about their child’s school at any other time.  

Q2: Why do we want the views of parents and carers? 

A: Inspectors weigh the views of parents and carers alongside first-hand evidence gathered during an inspection when coming to a view about the overall effectiveness of a school.  

Parents’ views are also used to assist Ofsted in making decisions about which schools to inspect and when. 

Q3: Why do parents and carers have to register to use Ofsted Parent View? 

A: The Ofsted Parent View website requires each respondent to enter an email address and a password before completing a questionnaire to ensure the security of the website. Other security measures are also in place to identify abuse. 

If a person fills in the questionnaire for the same school more than once using the same email address, their previous entry is overwritten. Therefore, Ofsted Parent View only holds one completed questionnaire from each email address for a specific school in any school year.  

Q4: How do parents and carers and others sign up to Ofsted Parent View? 

A: To register and complete a submission on the Ofsted Parent View website, users must complete the following steps: 

1) Enter an email address and confirm that they are a parent or carer. 
2) Follow simple on-screen instructions before completing registration. 
3) An email is then sent to the specified email address with a link to validate and activate the log-in. 
4) Select a secure password for their account with a minimum of 8 characters, there is also a password strength indicator to help users create more secure passwords. 

These measures are in place to prevent site misuse. 

Users who are not parents or carers (for example headteachers, governors or other interested parties) are able to register on the site and receive alerts when submissions are added to schools. However, they are not able to complete a submission for a school as this is only available to parents and carers. 

Q5: Can parents and carers complete the Ofsted Parent View questionnaire for all types of schools? 

A: The questionnaire can be completed for the following types of school:  

all maintained schools and academies and some non-maintained special schools 

• independent schools (that are not members of associations). These schools are inspected by Ofsted at the request of the Department for Education; (association schools are inspected by approved independent inspectorates). 

There are five additional questions for all schools that have boarding or residential provision (including non-maintained special schools with residential provision). The additional questions invite parents and carers to give their views about the school’s boarding or residential provision.  

Q6: How can I search for a school on Ofsted Parent View? 

A: To search for a school, visitors should click on the Ofsted Parent View results icon at the top of the home page. Visitors can then type in the name of the school and any part of the school’s address (street, city or postcode) in the search boxes, and then select the correct school shown from the results.  

Q7: When can parents and carers give their views to Ofsted? 

A: Parents and carers are notified when their child’s school is due to be inspected.  The notification includes an invitation to complete a questionnaire on Ofsted Parent View. 

Parents and carers are also able to complete a questionnaire about the school that their child attends at any time during the school year. If they submit another questionnaire at a later time in the school year then their previous submission will be replaced if they use the same email address.  

Q8: What happens if parents or carers want to change the views they previously submitted on Ofsted Parent View? 

A: Parents and carers can update their views on Ofsted Parent View at any time by logging on and responding again to the set questions. If a parent or carer updates their responses for a school more than once in an academic year, the previous results will be overwritten so that only one ‘view’ for each parent or carer, per school, is held. 

Q9: Can parents and carers give views about more than one school? 

A: Yes, when a parent or carer registers they are asked how many different schools their children attend. Parents can register and give their views for up to nine different schools. If parents need to add additional schools after registering on the site this can be done via the My Profile page when logged in. 

Q10: Can more than one parent or carer complete the questionnaire for their child? 

A: Yes, if a child has more than one parent or carer each one can complete the questionnaire. Each parent or carer must use a different email address. This provides for the possibility that parents and carers may hold different perspectives about a school. 

Q11: What happens if a child changes school during the year? 

A: If parents and carers have already completed a questionnaire for their child’s previous school they should add the new school to their profile page. This allows parents and carers to give their views about a new school. 

Q12: How does Ofsted ensure that responses to Ofsted Parent View remain anonymous? 

A: All submissions remain anonymous. Schools do not have access to any information that can be used to identify a respondent. Ofsted’s inspection teams do not receive any personal information – inspectors only view the overall data for a particular school.  

Q13: What information can parents and carers give to Ofsted? 

A: Ofsted Parent View asks parents and carers to give their views on 14 aspects of their child’s school, ranging from the school's expectations for children, to how well the school deals with bullying and poor behaviour. The topics have been chosen to reflect what parents and carers tell us are the most important issues for them, and includes areas which experience tells us may be indicators of concern.  

Q14: Can parents and carers write free text? 

A: Ofsted Parent View can accept free text comments during the period of inspection of a school, starting from the time an inspection has been announced to a school. This enables parents and carers to provide additional information about their responses to the previous ‘closed’ questions. There is a maximum limit in the free text comment box of 1000 characters. Comments can be given up until noon on the final day of the inspection. Free text comments will not be published on the site. 

When parents and carers are notified about an inspection, the notification letter explains how to submit written comments.  

Q15: What happens if parents and carers have a safeguarding concern about a school?  

A: Ofsted does not investigate safeguarding concerns about schools. The Ofsted Parent View pages explain that if parents and carers have a safeguarding concern they should make a referral through the Local Authority Designated Officer.  

Q16: What happens if parents/carers want to make a complaint about a school?  

A: Ofsted Parent View is not a mechanism for making complaints or sharing individual concerns about a school with Ofsted. It does not replace the current arrangements for raising a complaint or notifying the appropriate body regarding concerns about the safety or well-being of a child. Ofsted does, however, have powers to consider certain complaints, known as qualifying complaints, about schools. More information about these powers can be found at 

Q17: What happens to the information parents and carers provide?  

A: When making their judgements about a school, inspectors take into account the views of parents and carers expressed through Ofsted Parent View and weigh these against first-hand evidence gathered during the inspection. Inspectors are also likely to talk to some parents and carers during the inspection.  

Parents and carers can also provide written comments or contact and speak directly with an inspector  

Information from Ofsted Parent View responses may also contribute to Ofsted’s annual risk assessment of a school, to help decide if and when the school should be inspected. The risk assessment process uses a range of information, including performance and attendance data, any concerns raised with Ofsted by local authorities, and any other information Ofsted holds about a school.  

In addition, if during the year the Ofsted Parent View responses give rise to a significant concern about a school, Ofsted may conduct a review of all the information we hold about the school. The responses from Ofsted Parent View are taken into account but do not, on their own, trigger an inspection.  

Q18: When are a school’s results available to see on Ofsted Parent View?  

A: A school’s results will be available on Ofsted Parent View when we have received a minimum of 10 responses from parents/carers. Data about each school are displayed in percentages and in easy-to-understand graphs. At the end of the academic year the results will be ‘frozen’ for that year and a new set of results will begin. This will allow comparisons to be made between the results for an individual school from one year to another.  

Q19: Are parents and carers able to view the results of an individual school? 

A: Yes, results are published in real-time and are available on the website for schools, parents and carers and the general public. However, we do not publish the results until we have a minimum of 10 responses. 

Q20: Can parents and carers view the comments made on Ofsted Parent View? 

A: No, the free text comment facility is only available to inspectors during the inspection. The information provided is confidential and is handled in line with Ofsted's retention and disposal policy. 

Q21: Can anyone interested in a school be kept informed about the results on Ofsted Parent View? 

A: Those who are not a parent or carer but are interested in Ofsted Parent View results can register on Ofsted Parent View as a non-parent or carer. They will not be able to complete a survey about a school but will be able to register for periodic alerts about a particular school(s). 

All subscribers will be sent an email alerting them that results for their school(s) of interest have become publicly available. After this point, subscribers can select how often they want to receive on-going alerts about changes to the Ofsted Parent View responses, for example, every time a new response is added, or daily, weekly or monthly alerts. 

Q22: How secure is Ofsted Parent View? 

A: We have put in place a range of measures to enhance the security of Ofsted Parent View, minimise the risk of abuse by individuals or small groups and ensure that all schools are treated fairly. We also have systems in place to alert us to any potential signs of misuse. We have also reiterated to schools our commitment to reviewing, within 24 hours, Ofsted Parent View results where a school has concerns. 

Q23: What questions are parents and carers asked in the Ofsted Parent View questionnaire? 

A: Parents/carers are asked to record their view for the following 14 questions: 

  1. 1. My child is happy at this school.  

  1. 2. My child feels safe at this school. 

  1. 3. The school makes sure its pupils are well behaved. 

  1. 4. My child has been bullied and the school dealt with the bullying quickly and effectively. 

  1. 5. The school makes me aware of what my child will learn during the year. 

  1. 6. When I have raised concerns with the school they have been dealt with properly. 

  1. 7. a: Does your child have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)? (yes/no)  

  2.     b: My child has SEND, and the school gives them the support they need to succeed.  

  1. 8. The school has high expectations for my child. 

  1. 9. My child does well at this school. 

  1. 10. The school lets me know how my child is doing. 

  1. 11. There is a good range of subjects available to my child at this school. 

  1. 12. My child can take part in clubs and activities at this school. 

  1. 13. The school supports my child’s wider personal development. 

  1. 14. I would recommend this school to another parent.  

In addition, if there is boarding or residential provision the following additional five questions are asked: 

  1. 15. My child enjoys boarding/the welfare experience 

  1. 16. My child is warm enough and comfortable in the residential accommodation 

  1. 17. The experience of boarding/welfare helps my child's progress and development 

  1. 18. I can easily contact the staff who care for my child 

  1. 19. Boarding/welfare is well organised and managed effectively 

Unless otherwise specified above, all the answer options to the statements are: 

  • - strongly agree 

  • - agree 

  • - disagree 

  • - strongly disagree 

  • - don’t know 

For statement 4, ‘My child has been bullied and the school dealt with the bullying quickly and effectively’ parents can also select ‘My child has not been bullied’. 

For statement 6, ‘When I have raised concerns with the school they have been dealt with properly’ parents can select ‘I have not raised any concerns’. 

Q24: I have registered with Ofsted Parent View but have not received the email with a link to complete the registration.  

A: Please check for the email in your ‘junk email’ folder. Email account filter settings can sometimes result in the email being sent directly to the ‘junk email’ folder.  

Q25: What happens if parents and carers want to change their email address?  

A: Once parents and carers have registered, they are able to access their profile page where they can change their email address, password and details of the schools that their children attend. 

Q26: Some details about my school are incorrect (e.g. address, telephone number, number of pupils on the roll) – how can I get this information updated? 

A: All education provider data on Ofsted Parent View comes from GIAS, a Department for Education database. Schools can amend their details by logging into DfE Sign-in (DSI). 

Q27: How can a school contact Ofsted about Ofsted Parent View 

A: Enquiries and feedback about Ofsted Parent View should be sent by email to Ofsted will respond to all enquiries.  

Q28: My child attends a maintained nursery; how can I use Ofsted Parent View to provide feedback about the nursery? 

A: Most of the questions are relevant to maintained nurseries as well as schools at various stages of a child's education. When answering question 11 for a maintained nursery school ‘subjects’ should be considered ‘learning and experience’. 

Q29: My child has special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Will I be identifiable by my response to question 7? 

A: All responses remain confidential and no personal details are shared with the school. A school’s results will be available to schools and the public on Ofsted Parent View when we have received a minimum of 10 responses from parents and carers. Where fewer than 10 people have responded on the second part of the SEND question (7b) the results will display with “responses based on fewer than 10 responses”.  

Q30: What information do you keep? 

A: Other than the details that you provide as part of your registration or when completing the Ofsted Parent View questionnaire, we also collect and store the IP address of the device you use to access the service. This is used to help us to prevent abuse of the system. We store email addresses and IP addresses to make sure people cannot make multiple entries. More information is available on our preventing misuse page.