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A High Performing Specialist Academy for Technology & Applied Learning

Parents' Survey 2008

The second annual survey was completed by 797 parents/carers in February 2008 which is a 15% increase on 2007.  We appreciate the time taken by parents in giving us this valuable feedback about how well we are doing.

- To give you the opportunity to tell us what we can do to improve
- To receive feedback on how well we are doing
- To create more dialogue between the College and parents/carers

Our aims are: As in 2006, the parents of KS3 students are more likely to complete the survey than those in KS4 and 5.  There were over 302 different comments from 263 surveys which give us more detailed information about those areas you feel strongly about.  The main topics are listed below.   (The survey is available for downloading by clicking on the icon at the bottom of this page.  A copy of the presentation from the Parental Survey Meeting which took place on 3 July is also available.)

Main topics

No of comments 2008
No of comments 2007
No of comments 2006
Healthy Lifestyle
Staffing Issues
Parents’ Evening
Parents’ Gateway

 What are we going to do about these issues?


The new faculty system has been at the forefront of monitoring homework and scrutinising its value.  We have no plans to de-criminalise homework but have placed a new focus on it in our latest Learning and Teaching Policy.  This focus is intended to provide appropriate support for students and information on the assessment of tasks.

The new Learning Platform will be used to post details of ongoing or long-term assignments.  This will help staff, students and parents to assess current workload and apportion time appropriately.


 We continue to make every effort to reduce staff turnover and minimise its impact on exam classes. 

Many of these concerns refer to specific incidents.  Parents are advised to follow the guidance in the complaints policy if they have specific concerns


We plan to publish staff Email addresses on the website from September.

We have published the Revised Parental Concerns Policy on the website to help parents raise their concerns.

Academic Review Evenings (in some Year groups) will give parents more opportunities to speak to staff and monitor progress with coursework.

The new Website will contain details of all College activities and schedules.

Curriculum information booklets are continually under review and your comments will be taken into account.

We will provide Curriculum information for 6
th form parents from September. 


Exclusions are a last resort in our range of sanctions and are essential for more serious incidents.

Significant reduction in permanent and fixed term exclusions due to a much greater use of inclusion centre.

Inclusion centre to be extended and harsh regime implemented.

More use of ‘Restorative Justice’ approach.

Management of Behaviour guidelines recently rewritten.

College to urgently look at  reward system.

Key classes identified and monitored by HOFs.

Regular patrols of local estate.

Guidelines for cyber bullying introduced in the Management of Behaviour review.


We have a cleaning and monitoring programme for all student toilet areas. They are checked and re-provisioned every morning and repairs are carried out as soon as they are reported.  We will be instigating more regular inspections of the toilets and encouraging students to report problems immediately.

We have a CCTV monitoring system which will enable us to identify vandals more effectively.

We will also be closing F Block boys toilets and opening a more readily supervised facility in G Block.

Parents’ Evening

Specific parents contacted early.

Follow up contact system introduced in year 7 resulting in 99% engagement.

List of absent teachers displayed prominently.

Expectation that teachers contact parents by phone/e-mail on return.

Consideration of an on-line booking system.

Expectation that longer discussions require additional meeting outlined in letter sent before evening.

Academic Review Evenings Pilot Scheme planned for 2008-9


We have taken your concerns to Scolarest, who are aware that their performance is below our expectations.  We are conducting a full review of catering provision to address the problems and will be instigating changes as soon as we are able.

The CCA has allocated some funding and the College Council are fundraising to provide a large canopy.  This will be erected during the summer holiday.  We will be looking at further shelters when funds allow.

New, high performance water dispensers, designed to rapidly fill water bottles with chilled and filtered water, will be installed in Kingston and Barossa before the end of June 08.  We will have refillable water bottles available for purchase (for a small donation to charity) for those who do not have, or forget to bring, their own bottles.


Information sheets are sent out with the first set of reports each year.  These will be revised for next year and posted on the website.

New Target Reports contain a brief statement on progress and a target to support progress for each subject.  

These reports indicate the range of grades  for each subject across the year group in order that performance can be contextualised.

The Form Tutor Report has been re-modelled to provide additional space for form tutors’ comments.  This includes academic progress, attendance and behaviour, social skills and hobbies and interests.

All year group reports are now being commented upon by Year Managers to improve continuity.

PE and Exercise We are committed to increasing the amount of PE to 2 hours per week and this has been implemented for Year 7 from September.  

We have signed contracts for the new sports hall and this facility includes new changing areas and showers. Other facilities will be improved as funding allows.  

hrough the school Sports Partnership we are improving school club links. Several coaches have been providing taster sessions in lessons and running after school clubs.  

The introduction of Competition Managers to the School Sports Partnerships will increase the opportunity for students to participate in competition.  

Recent staff appointments add to the range of extra-curricular activities; Badminton, Dance, Trampolining and Gymnastics.
The Year 9 Options programme was more complicated than in previous years.  

The Options Booklet will be published earlier next year. 

We have created an additional option for students who study Applied Science and are considering ways in which we can increase the number of option choices for more students next year.

What did you tell us?


 I do not believe homework is necessary. 

Homework is not always challenging enough. 

My child receives too much homework. 

We feel there is insufficient homework set. 

Homework is regularly set but quite often isn’t collected in or marked.


Too many substitute teachers.  

Some students disrupt lessons.

Overseas teachers.

Staff turnover.


Contacting staff via email. 

Poor response to letters of concern. 

Alerting parents when there are problems especially with coursework. 

Problems receiving notes/letters. 

Need for consistent information regarding trips and opportunities. 

Lack of information about extra-curricular activities. 

Improving curriculum information for parents but particularly for parents of 6th form students.


Exclusions have no effect-just a day off. 

More orderly code of conduct is required. 

Certain classes have behaviour problems. 

Children regularly seen smoking. 

Bullying is dealt with by punishment very effectively but same problem arises again. 

Threatening e-mails have been sent.


There are still times of the day when toilets are not clean or have run out of soap or toilet paper . 

Parents’ Evening

I don’t go to Parents’ Evenings! 

Teachers I wanted to see were away sick. 

My son didn’t book the teachers I wanted to see! 

Often running late. 

Would like 2 parents evenings a year.


Food is expensive.  

Queues are too long especially for healthy options. 

Lack of shelter in play areas. 

Would like to know the menu options in advance. 

Poor access to drinking water.


I don’t find the scoring on the reports easily understandable.

The report system needs to be more descriptive than just a tick box process. 

No indication is given as to whether they’re performing as well as others in their year group. 

Would like personal comments about my child’s progress. 

I believe these reports should be a record of overall achievement – including participation in sports teams.

PE and Exercise
Not enough PE in the curriculum. 

Request for more opportunities to play competitive sports. 

Poor PE facilities and showers.
Year 9 Options evening was difficult to understand.  

ptions booklet should have been available before Options evening.

Too few GCSE options in Year 9.


Curriculum Information