Pyper launches multi-lingual surveys to promote parental engagement
Communication and reputation management specialists from Pyper York have launched a new service designed to make it easier for schools to survey the opinions of parents and carers quickly and easily, even if those parents do not speak English.
The Pyper Multilingual Survey is an online survey system designed to canvas the opinions of parents at home, in school or even in the playground. Participating schools can choose up to 50 questions from a large question bank, incorporating all those that feature in Ofsted, Estyn and Education Scotland’s parental surveys, with all questions available in a number of languages, including Welsh, Polish, Punjabi, Bengali and Urdu to make the survey accessible to non-English speaking parents.
“Schools are really missing a trick if they don’t try every possible technique for engaging parents, and for schools with a high proportion of pupils whose parents speak little or no English, that means reaching out to them with documents in their own language,” comments managing director, Jay Commins. “Even when Ofsted issues their own Parent View questionnaire during an inspection, the response rates can be particularly low in multi-ethnic schools, so if head teachers really want to engage with parents, they need to make it clear that their views count – and it is down to the school to go the extra mile to communicate this message.”
The surveys have been designed to make them accessible in a number of ways. “Sending home a paper survey will generate some responses, but with the massive explosion in social media and electronic communications, there are more effective ways of reaching parents now,” adds Jay. For example:
- Setting up PCs during Parent/Teacher conference evenings so that parents can complete the survey whilst they are waiting to see teachers
- Posting QR codes in playgrounds so that parents can complete the surveys on smartphones as they wait in the playground
- Emailing hyperlinks to parents for whom the school holds email addresses
- Sending a short link via text message for schools using SMS (text message) communication systems.
As the survey is completed online, schools using the system face no printing costs, and the full results and analysis can be available within an hour of the survey closing. Priced at just £150 + VAT for a school of any size, the Pyper Surveys are extremely cost-effective, saving time and getting accurate results very quickly.
As part of the service, Pyper also provides explanatory letters in each different language so that schools can ensure parents of any ethnic origin understand what they need to do to take part.
“At the moment, we offer the surveys in seven languages, but we have access to a bank of translators around the world, so can add any other language versions usually within 24 hours if a school has additional needs. We recently added Gujarati to a survey we had already launched when a head teacher wanted to make it more accessible to their Indian parents – from a request at 7pm, it was online by 11am the following day,” adds Jay.
Headteacher, Suzanne Hay from Cliffe CP School, near Selby in North Yorkshire, commented, “The analysis of the results was extremely useful as it broke down each question within each class. It showed quite clearly the strengths and weaknesses in each area. The time saved has been considerable due to the ease with which the survey was carried out and analysed. “
For more information on Pyper Surveys, please visit www.pypersurveys.co.uk or call 01904 500698.
Notes to editors:
Taken from the 2011 Census:
- 4.2 million people (7.7 per cent) of the UK population reported another main language other than English. Polish was the most popular 'Other' main language with 546,000 people reporting this as their main language (1.0 per cent of the total population). London had the highest proportion with another main language (22.1 per cent).
- The local authority with the highest proportion of people with English (English or Welsh in Wales) as their main language was Redcar and Cleveland (99.3 per cent). The London Borough of Newham had the lowest proportion at 58.6 per cent.
- Three quarters (3,000) of those who reported Yiddish as their main language were in the London borough of Hackney. Half (10,800) of those who reported Pakistani Pahari (with Mirpuri and Potwari) as their main language lived in Birmingham.
- In England and Wales 726,000 people (1.3 per cent) reported that they could not speak English well and 138,000 people (0.3 per cent) reported that they could not speak English at all. London and the West Midlands saw the highest percentage of people who could not speak English well or not at all (4.1 per cent and 2.0 per cent respectively). Across local authorities, the percentage of people who could not speak English well or not at all was highest in Newham (8.7 per cent).
A report by Estyn (Ofsted’s Welsh equivalent) in 2009 highlighted:
“Schools which effectively involve parents in supporting improved standards of achivement: offer flexible arrangements for parents’ evenings; provide translators for parents who don’t speak English…”
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