Our annual parents/carers survey

Thursday 27 July 2017

Thanks to all those of you who took the time to complete our recent parent / carer survey. Like last year, there wasn’t a huge number of responses – around one in eight of you – but we did see an increase. Most responses come from parents / carers in F1,2, Y1,2 and Y5,6 – so, a fairly even spread covering all ages.

Below is a summary of what you’ve said.

Lots of you added some comments after each question; we’ve included here just one or two positive and negative comments that represent typical responses. Please do contact us directly if you said something which might help us improve further. We can’t guarantee we can accommodate everyone’s wishes or opinions, but we do guarantee we consider each one.

When we analysed the results, we begun to wonder if the same parent / carer had indicated they disagreed with many of the statements – in around half of the questions, all the responses are positive bar one. If it is the case that one parent / carer disagreed, and left no comments, we urge you to get in touch so you can talk through the concerns (and perhaps help us to improve what we do.

Finally, look out for a post box in the front hall area so you can post any sort of feedback, as and when you like. And, of course, teachers, including Miss Beatson, responsible for teaching and learning, are often around at the start and end of the school day. We’ve started noticing more parents give us more positive comments, which is great – but we do welcome all constructive feedback.

1. My child is happy at St James’ CE Primary School.

91% agreed or strongly agreed with this.

All of the comments for this statement were positive. Typical feedback includes:
‘My son always comes out of school with a smile on his face and happy and open to talk about his day.’
‘Both my children are very happy at St James School.’

Just one respondent disagreed here, but obviously we want all children to feel happy at school. Please contact the school if you feel that your child isn’t as happy as they might.

2. My child feels safe at this school.

The same proportion (91%) agreed or strongly agreed with this.

There was just one comment: ‘They have never said otherwise.’
As before, there was just one respondent who disagreed: please contact the school if your child doesn’t feel safe.

3. My child makes good progress at this school.

It’s the same again: 91% agreed or strongly agreed with this.

Similarly, all comments were positive, such as:
‘Both my children are doing very well at school. My first is an August born and I worried how she would cope but she is doing amazingly. My second is in F1 and has come on in leaps and bounds since he started.’
‘Happy with both my children’s progress.’

4. My child is well looked after.

We’re really pleased that 100% of you agreed or strongly agreed – this is what we’re aiming for throughout the survey next year!
‘All the teacher look out for every child from what I can see.’

5. My child is taught well at St James’ CE Primary School.

Here, we’ve another statement with 91% in agreement.

‘I think the teaching for the class has been wonderful. The teacher has done a fantastic job and I could not be happier with the way she has kept my son engaged and ready to learn all the time.’
‘Both are taught to the highest standard in my opinion although I feel years 1/2 should read to a teacher more often.’
We’re delighted with comments such as these.

Reading attainment and progress in Year 1 and 2 is broadly in line with national expectations, and it’s difficult for the teacher to hear readers as often as we would all like – there’s only so much time in the school day. However, Mrs Rowley will explore how she might be able to act on this comment.

6. Adults in school make sure pupils are well behaved.

100% of you were in agreement here. That’s fantastic feedback, and I couldn’t agree more: children at St James’ CE are very well-behaved.
‘The children know boundaries, behaviour rules and what’s not acceptable.’

7. St James’ CE Primary School deals effectively with bullying.

This is where your responses are less positive. 55% agreed, 27% disagreed and 18% were unsure.

It’s often the case with this question in surveys to see a high proportion saying they are unsure – comments indicate that this is because parents / carers are happy they’re child hasn’t encountered bullying, so they are unsure as to how well the school deals with it.

However, it’s the proportion who disagreed that concerns us. Please talk to school if you feel your child is being bullied – we will act on it straight away.

Incidentally, it’s always worth mentioning two core messages about bullying. We define bullying as upsetting or harmful behaviour which is Several Times On Purpose, and we encourage children to Start Telling Other People before it becomes a problem. Please help us reinforce this message at home, too.
Check out our Positive Relationships Policy on our website.

8. The school is well led and managed.

82% agreed or strong agreed to this statement.
There’s clearly still room for improvement here, but your comments are encouraging:
‘I think it is improving quickly which is great.’
‘With the changes that are now being made with the new executive headmaster I would hope this now improves this aspect.’
‘I feel the school is led very well and to the highest standard.’

It hasn’t helped this year that Mr Williams has been absent due to illness for so long. Next year, the federation Early Years Leader will be in school for a large part of the week, and Miss Beatson, who will have responsibility for teaching and learning, begins her role. We’re confident we’ll see further improvements.

9. The school responds well to any concerns I raise.

73.0% agreed or strongly agreed here. Two respondents disagreed and the rest were unsure (perhaps a result of not having raised concerns).

Comments were positive: ‘Any concerns I have raised have been dealt with straight away’.

We’d love to be able to respond directly to the two people with concerns – contact us to talk things through, please!

10. I receive useful information from the school about my child’s progress.

Here, we’re back to the same proportions as before: 91% agreed or strongly agreed.

There was just one comment: ‘We only receive updates on our children’s progress at parents evening. A few more updates other than once a year would be good so as a parent we can help our children in areas ASAP and not wait a year for parents evening.’

We do have two parents’ evenings. However, based on this response, we have changed the timing of these so that the come earlier, therefore enabling us to alert you sooner in the year of any concerns and areas for support. 2017-18 parents’ evenings will be the week before the October and February half-terms (rather than near Easter as was the case for the second round of appointments).

11. The school promotes its Christian ethos effectively.

Here, 91% agreed and the rest were unsure.

‘Myself and my partner are not religious but our children follow the Church of England structure within St James. They both have a good understanding of God and the Bible. Whether they carry on once they have left St James is up to them.’


We asked you to tell us about things you like and the things we could improve on. With a lot of praise and some constructive suggestions, it’s great to read these.

Communication remains the most common area to improve. We hope this will get better when our new office assistant starts in September – but please be patient if there are any settling in issues – there are a lot of new staff next year!
‘I think the communication could still do with some improvement but it has definitely got better in the last few months.’

The things you like include the school’s size and the progress children are making.
‘I certainly would recommend the school, I know a lot of people go on ofsted reports but as someone who’s worked in childcare settings for many years I know that a 1 day visit is not a true reflection, and you can tell as a parent from visiting and your child’s progress, and how happy they are at the setting/school.’