DS's school will be having an Ofsted inspection at the end of this week. I've received a parents' questionnaire to complete if I wish. As he's only been at the school for a few days it seems a bit pointless to complete it. I was wondering whether it was worth writing a comment along the bottom along the lines of "DS has only been at the school for a few days so I do not feel able to complete the questionnaire. I am happy with the school's induction process and his experience so far". But then wondered if that was OTT.
Does it makes any odds to the school how many parent questionnaires are returned? Should I send it back, or not bother?
Yes, tell Ofsted, they take notice of all comments received.
Also, pleeeeeese make a point of telling the school. (It may be argued this is more important.) Its all too easy to complain and criticise, the school gets loads of that but getting a note that tells of something positive, something going really well, is a welcome fillip for the staff.
Can I hijack this thread as I was about to post a related question. I've heard stories of schools hiding the negative questionnaires from parents so Ofsted don't see them! Is that a myth? Are the completed questionnaires sent through the school office or directly to Ofsted?
How can I make sure my comments arrive with the inspectors without them getting lost along the way (they won't be glowing that's for sure)?
I am not an Ofsted Inspector but in my experience the inspection team made sure that they received the comments unaltered/directly.
If you are concerned then I would put your comments in an envelope addressed to the Inspection team. Other than that you could ask to see a member of the inspection team, wait in school reception and hand it over personally.
I sense you have some criticism of the school. I would hope that the school are already aware of any problems and they do not come as a surprise to the school.
When dd1 was in yr R I sent to Ofsted a comment on the reading. They limited the reading level to ORT level 3 before they went onto free reading. That mean that she was immediately well into free readers. At least one other parent (independently) made very similar comments. It was a critizism, and clearly one. We were a bit when the inspectors comments to the parents included the phrase "no parents made any negative comments". Knowing the head well enough to know that there was no way she (or any other member of staff) would have removed/altered them, I conclude they either don't read comments or ignore negative ones.
Similar situation I was told last year where several (greater than 10 known from one form, although large secondary) parents raised serious concerns (bullying and schools handling of it among others) and it was dismissed as "minor concerns in a small number of parents". And the school gained an outstanding including in those areas concern had been raised.