Towards a new generation of Community Schools – listening to parents of the Red Wall

Public First has published a new report ‘Towards a new generation of Community Schools – listening to parents of the Red Wall’ in association with UNISON and NAHT. You can access the report here.

Public First’s research included ten focus groups of parents of social grade C1 to D and a mixture of Labour and Conservative voters. The research also included a nationally representative poll of 1,000 parents with an additional sample of parents from red wall constituencies.

The report highlights the following key findings:

  • There was strong support in general from parents for their local schools – parents were very content with the teaching and learning that happens in the classroom
  • Parents valued good communication above almost anything else – both when expressing positive and negative opinions on their school, communication was seen as key
  • Parents had strong admiration and respect for teachers and teaching assistants, in particular for the support they offered during the pandemic. Subsequently they felt that staff pay wasn’t enough given the current rate of inflation and the expectations of the role
  • Parents were less convinced of the need for more tech in the classroom with a general feeling that extensive use of technology in the classroom should be limited to secondary settings
  • Academisation as an issue did not register with parents – they cared more about outcomes than structures

As the government and opposition look to set out their approaches to education policy in the lead up to the general election, we hope this report will provide clear insight into the views and priorities of parents of the red wall.

The full tables can be found here.