Capturing parents’ feedback about their child’s school, whether it be sharing concerns or celebrating successes, enables that school’s education offering to go from good to truly great.
For global schools group Nord Anglia Education, listening to parents’ opinions and inviting them into the discussion on their child’s education are fundamental to the organisation’s success. This feedback process is built into the company’s DNA through the annual parent survey.
Chief executive officer Andrew Fitzmaurice said it’s all about accountability, with feedback from the survey ensuring the schools group meets and exceeds students’ and parents’ needs.
“We’re constantly listening, which means we’re constantly improving our education offer,” Mr Fitzmaurice said.
“It ensures we’re growing in the right direction.”
Nord Anglia Education’s philosophy centres in on helping every child thrive in a warm, welcoming community, where one in three graduates are admitted to the world’s top 100 universities.
Conducted with Nord Anglia parents around the world, the survey helps the organisation and its leaders reflect on what’s working well in each school community, as well as what needs to be done better.
These survey results are then translated into direct action plans at the individual school level, led by the Principal or Head of School.
More than 18,130 Nord Anglia Education parents across 55 schools participated this year, making it the largest survey conducted by the group.
The survey was conducted in 22 languages and reflects Nord Anglia’s truly global scale.
Mr Fitzmaurice said the biggest question the organisation wanted to know was what do Nord Anglia Education parents really care about?
According to the 2019 survey, having students taught by high-quality teachers is the single most important factor for Nord Anglia parents. The vast majority of parents, 86 per cent, believe that their school delivers on this vital need. In addition, 91 per cent of surveyed parents said their school provides a stimulating learning environment.
Nord Anglia’s global scale is also leveraged to ensure it recruits and retains the best teachers in the world. For every open teaching position on offer, Nord Anglia receives at least 24 applications.
Nord Anglia continues to invest heavily in professional development for its employees. Courses are delivered for employees via Nord Anglia University, while hundreds of Nord Anglia teachers and support staff participate in development opportunities with King’s College London as well as Juilliard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology every summer.
Of those surveyed 92 per cent of parents said their child has a good relationship with their teachers.
It also found that 94 per cent of surveyed parents said their child is happy at school, while 95 per cent said their child feels safe at school.
“Our survey also tells us that parents prioritise academic results. All Nord Anglia schools share this view as well,” Group Education Director Andy Puttock said.
“Our task, as educators, often means preparing children for a world in which their future jobs don’t yet exist, or in which traditional jobs may look entirely different by the time they graduate,” he said.
“These aspects are carefully considered when we design our curriculum, so that high-quality education goes beyond impressive academics alone.”
The rapidly changing world of the 21st century demands that the best schools help ensure the whole-person development of a child, which includes much more than just academic prowess, he explained.
In terms of the Nord Anglia’s educational offering, 91 per cent of surveyed parents said their child receives a quality education from the school.
In addition to metrics recorded around the need of students, the survey also covered parents’ involvement with their child’s school. For example, 95 per cent said they have been accepted into a warm and welcoming community, while 93 per cent agreed they were kept well-informed about general school updates.
Andrew Fitzmaurice also pointed out the survey shows improvement in areas that were strong last year as well as significant growth in areas identified by parents as relatively weaker areas.
Specifically, parents’ responses showed significant improvements in terms of performing arts, IT and outdoor facilities, the level of participation in sports and school trips, individualised attention from teachers, and many factors across the board.
“A continuous approach to improvement is central to everything we do,” he said.