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Designing new adult training pathways for better schooling

Survey on Parental Involvement Addressed to Parents:


Analysis and Interpretation

Dr Pamela Clayton, University of Glasgow

THE SURVEY
The main focus of the project is encouraging parents to take an active interest in their children’s
education by engaging directly with the school - for example, sitting on school boards of governors,
joining the Parent-Teacher Association or a less formal 'friends of the school' group. Many parents,
however, do not join in these activities and one aim of the project was to discover why some do and some
do not so participate.
There is already an extensive literature in the United Kingdom on this topic (for a summary of some of the
latest research see Clayton 2004), but the project team aimed to produce comparative data on three
primary schools, one each in Spain, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Hence, in 2002-3 the first phase of
the project, 'Sharing new adult training pathways for better schooling', carried out a small qualitative
survey at the same school (see Clayton 2003). In 2004 this was followed up by slightly larger quantitative
surveys in Ireland and the United Kingdom and a much larger quantitative survey in Spain.
In Spain the City Council of Quart de Poblet has put resources into providing free adult education classes
for parents with the intention of enhancing their participation in formal school activities.
The questionnaire was designed by the University of Valencia for Quart de Poblet and adopted, with
some omissions and amendments, by the University of Glasgow and Shanagolden Resource Centre,
County Limerick.
A total of 25 questionnaires (see annex) was distributed to parents at a primary school and 21 were
returned. The probable reason for this high rate of return was that they were given out by hand by the
researcher, who is also a parent at the school and who was able to remind people in person to return
them.
Since the respondents to the British survey do not constitute a random sample, the results cannot be
generalised but rather are suggestive of further avenues for research.

DEMOGRAPHIC DATA AND FAMILY AND WORK SITUATIONS


All lived in either the town where the school is located or in the neighbouring town (i.e. the catchment
area of the school). All but one (a woman, aged 45-64) were aged between 25 and 44.
Chart 1 (a-c) shows the sex distribution of the sample, whether they still live in the place where they were
born and whether they are employed full-time, employed part-time, students or full-time carers (N=21).

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Chart 1(a) Sex distribution Chart 1 (b) Place of birth compared with current residence
Men Women Same Same Nearby Same Overseas
area county city country
18 7
17 6
16 5
15 4
14 3
13 2
12 1
11
10 Chart 1 (c) Economic activity
9 Full-time Part-time Student Carer
8 8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1

The sample was composed of eighteen women and three men. Only seven had been born in the town
where they now lived but a further four had been born in the same county and had moved only a short
distance. Another six had moved from a nearby city. Only two came from a different part of the United
Kingdom and another two from different countries (Turkey and South Africa). Just four were working full
time (for an employer or self-employed) and only one of these was a man. Eight were working part time,
two were students (one man and one woman) and seven were full-time carers (including one of the men).
Chart 2 (a-b) shows the types of family unit of the respondents (N=21).
Chart 2 (a) Civil status* Chart 2 (b) Family type
Single Married/ Divorced Nuclear Lone- Extended
cohabiting family parent family
family
17
16
15 15
14 14
13 13
12 12
11 11
10 10
9 9
8 8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
*Note that cohabitation is not a civil status in the United Kingdom but was merged with marriage in the
questionnaire to avoid any potential embarrassment.

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Seventeen were married or cohabiting, two were single and two were divorced. The average (mean,
median and modal) size of household unit was four, with a range of two to seven. Fifteen lived in nuclear
family units (with spouse/partner and children); four were lone-parent families; and two lived in an
extended family unit with parents. One had a disabled member of the family.
Ten lived in houses they owned, either outright or on a mortgage; two lived in houses owned by their
parents; and nine lived in rented accommodation.
Chart 3 (a-b) shows the type of employment and occupational sector of those who were carrying out paid
work (N=12).

Chart 3 (a) Employer type Chart 3 (b) Employment sector


Public Private Voluntary Construc- Services Education Health
tion service
8
7
6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1

Of the twelve in paid employment, eight worked in the public, three in the private and one in the voluntary
sector. One (the only man working) worked full time in the construction industry, four worked in services
(only one of them full time), five part time in the education sector and two worked full time in the health
service. Eleven worked in the town where they lived, except for one who worked both in his home town
and in another town in the same county.
Chart 4 shows how many respondents had or did not have qualifications and the types of qualifications
held (N=21).

Chart 4 Qualifications
None Secondary Vocational Profess- Degree Not stated
ional
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

Twelve had qualifications, nine did not (note that there is no certificate awarded for primary education in
the United Kingdom). Of those with qualifications, the highest obtained by two were secondary level 2,
five had vocational qualifications such as City & Guilds and RSA, one had a professional qualification,
three had university degrees and one did not specify what their qualification was.
Respondents were also asked about the division of responsibilities in their households. The results are
summarised in Table 1.

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Table 1 Division of household tasks between mother, father, child and others (N=21)
Task: Cleaning / Cooking Shopping Washing / House Helping
Carried out tidying ironing repair / with
by: gardening homework
Mother 21 21 21 21 9 21
Father 7 8 11 4 14 9
Child 7 1 1 2 0 2
Others 1 0 0 0 0 0

The majority of 'indoor' tasks were carried out mainly by women, while men were more likely to carry out
'outdoor' tasks such as house repairs, gardening and accompanying the family in shopping. Nevertheless,
over two-fifths of the seventeen fathers referred to (bearing in mind that four respondents were lone
mothers) carried out cleaning/tidying and cooking, and over half helped with homework.
A third of respondents stated that their children helped with housework; and two children helped their
younger sibling(s) with homework.

PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN


Respondents were asked to state whether they asked their child the reason on any occasions that he or
she either seemed sad and serious or particularly happy. Table 2 compares the answers to these two
questions.

Table 2 Parents' reactions to changes in child's mood (N=21)


Parent asks why: Child seems sad or serious Child seems particularly happy
Always 18 8
Usually 3 8
Sometimes 0 3
Rarely 0 1
Never 0 0
No response 0 1

Eighteen said that they always, and three that they usually, asked their child if he or she seemed sad or
serious. On the other hand, only eight always and eight usually checked when their child seemed
particularly happy. One rarely and three sometimes asked why (one did not answer the question).
Asked how they tackled their children's problems, five chose more than one option and one did not
respond. Ten chose the option 'I listen'; five chose 'I tell him/her what to do and then we talk about it' and
two chose 'I tell him to talk it over with his/her dad/mum'. Those who offered other options emphasised
that they tried to solve the problems jointly with their children. One answer sums up this approach: 'I listen
and then we talk about it. Sometimes he decides what to do, sometimes I do and sometimes we decide
together.'
Respondents were asked how they reacted with their children asked them awkward questions, such as
where babies came from. Seventeen chose the option 'I answer clearly', while two chose 'I change the
subject' and two 'I say those are adult issues'. Several gave further clarification. Five mentioned or implied
that the age of the child was important: for example, 'To the level I feel the child can cope with, dependent
on age and maturity'. One added that she had explained where babies come from and her children had
also learnt about this at school.
One always, eight usually, ten sometimes, one rarely and one never asked what the child would like to do
after school. On the other hand, all said they knew the kinds of games their child liked to play. Fourteen of
the children liked 'traditional games', sixteen 'board games', sixteen 'video or computer games' and

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thirteen liked 'sports'. Fourteen of the children liked at least three different kinds of game. In addition, one
respondent mentioned 'imagination games'.
Asked whether their children were concerned about the environment and the future of the planet, five
answered 'a lot', thirteen 'a bit', two said they had 'no opinion' and one said 'very little'.

PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN'S SCHOOL EXPERIENCE


Respondents were asked if they questioned their child about school each day (table 3).

Table 3 Parental questioning of children about school (N=21)


Parent asks: What happened in About the child's About the child's
school that day friends and classmates relationships with staff
Always 13 10 4
Usually 6 7 8
Sometimes 2 4 8
Rarely 0 0 0
Never 0 0 1
N=21
Most respondents always or usually asked their child about their day at school and about their friends and
classmates; but fewer asked regularly about their relationships with staff.
All respondents surveyed helped their child with homework, eleven 'a lot', six 'quite often' and four
'sometimes'. When asked how they reacted when their children faced problems with school work, nearly
all (twenty) chose the option 'With patience, discussing it with him/her'. One stated that if her child were
trying to read she would look for help from someone else, otherwise she would lose her temper, and
another said, 'Up to a point but sometimes I get cross especially if they leave it to the last minute'. Two,
however, added that they would involve the teacher, either by going to see her or by advising the child to
talk to her.

PARENTS AND THE SCHOOL


Twenty of the respondents said they were very interested in knowing about how their children were
educated with only one saying he was 'a bit' interested. Other questions asked how often they spoke to
staff or attended meetings at school (Table 4).

Table 4 Parents' contacts with the school


Parent: Speaks to head Speaks to class Attends parent- Attends parents'
teacher teacher teacher meetings association
meetings
Often 4 3 16 4
Quite often 5 5 1 2
Sometimes 8 13 3 3
Rarely 4 0 1 3
Never 0 0 0 9

Respondents were very likely to attend formal meetings with their child's class teacher or sometimes to
speak to the class teacher. Contacts with the head teacher were less common but occurred much more
frequently than attendance at parents' association meetings. On the other hand, asked how often they
talked to other parents with children at the school, seven said 'sometimes', eight 'quite often' and six 'a
lot'.
In order to test the hypothesis that fear of public speaking inhibits parents from attending parents'

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association meetings, respondents were asked if they had ever spoken in public, for example, in a
meeting, and if not whether they would be willing to do so. None who answered 'no' to the first question
answered 'yes' to the second. In table 5 the answers are cross-tabulated with answers to the question
about attendance at parents' association meetings.

Table 5 Relationship between public speaking and attendance at parents' association meetings
(N=21)
Attends parents' Often or quite Sometimes Rarely or never Total
association meetings: often
Spoken in public /
willing to do so
Yes 3 1 4 8
No 2 2 6 10
No response 1 0 2 3
Total 6 3 12 21

Of the eight who had already spoken in public, half attended at least some of the parents' association
meetings and half rarely or never did so. Those who had not spoken in public (and none were willing to
do so) were less likely to attend the meetings. On the other hand, two were regular attenders.
Asked where they would go to find information if there was a problem at school, fourteen respondents
would go to the head teacher's office, fifteen to the class teacher and four to another member of staff,
such as the school secretary or the special support worker. Two said that it depended on the type of
problem. None would go to the parents' association or to anyone outside the school. One chose none of
the options but stated, 'I feel there is no-one I can talk to about problems at my children's school.'
When a problem involved schoolmates, seventeen respondents chose the option ' I discuss it and I help
him/her to resolve the problem', two ' I solve the problem directly, confronting the schoolmates' (as a last
resort) and one chose ' I tell him/her not to do anything'. In addition, six added that if the problem were
serious and was upsetting their child, they would inform the school, in particular the class teacher.
Similarly, if the child faced problems with a teacher, most (fifteen) respondents chose the option 'I discuss
it and I help him/her to resolve the problem'. One of these would 'speak to the teacher if I thought it would
help the situation', four of these would also ' solve the problem directly, confronting the teacher' and this
would be the first resort for two respondents. Two said they would go to the head teacher and one said
she had never faced that problem. One did not answer this question.

INTERPRETATION
The hypothesis to be explored was that parents who do not participate in school activities such as
parents' associations have certain characteristics. There is a sub-text to the official concern about lack of
formal parental involvement: perhaps these parents are uninterested in their children or their education. In
other words, they are 'bad parents'. Others are not 'bad parents' but are 'deficient' in terms of education or
social class. Others are simply too busy. It is often said that British workers work the longest hours in
Europe, and British women do not have access to the kind of pre-school childcare available in, for
example, the Nordic countries (and nor do Irish or Spanish women). Other inhibiting factors might include
personality (for example, shyness), and social isolation due to geographical mobility.
The sub-hypotheses explored here are that parents who do not attend parents' association meetings at
the school:
• are too busy working (including housework) and commuting;
• include lone parents, those with pre-school age children, those with large families and those with
disabled or older family members to care for;
• are too busy to take much notice of their children;
• are not interested in their children's education or schoolwork;

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• have no academic, vocational or professional qualifications;
• work in low-grade occupations;
• live in rented accommodation rather than owning their own houses;
• are afraid of public speaking, including speaking in meetings;
• come from another area and do not get involved in the new area.
Examination of these sub-hypotheses are clustered into four sections: 'bad' parents; deficient people; shy
people; outsiders.

'Bad' parents
Busy, busy, busy
Unusually, of the men, only one was working full time, one was a student and one was a carer (not a lone
parent). The full-time male worker was the only parent who commuted as part of his job and this was
short-distance travelling. Most of the parents were women, but only six were full-time carers. The others
were employed full time or part time, with one studying part time. (See Chart 1.)
Four were lone parents and one had a disabled member of the family. Nearly all had more than one child
and some had at least one pre-school child. (See Chart 2 and following.) The women either carried out
most of the household tasks or shared them with their husbands or partners (see Table 1). It is
reasonable to categorise the respondents as busy people.

Parental interest in their children


Parents are unlikely to admit to a lack of interest in their own children but it would be unduly cynical to
doubt the sincerity of the majority of responses to questions which explored this. Busy as many of them
were, the parents surveyed did not ignore the possible symptom of unhappiness if their child seemed sad
or serious, and most were also interested if their child was particularly happy (see Table 2). Nearly all
claimed to tackle their children's problems or to help them to deal with them. Asked even embarrassing
questions, the great majority try to answer them rather than expecting the school to teach issues such as
'where babies come from', while taking into account the age of the child.
Only a minority of parents were in the habit of asking the child what he or she would like to do after
school, but this does not necessarily imply lack of interest, as all were familiar with the kind of games the
children liked to play. The wide range of children's interests described suggested that the children were
well provided with a variety of games and pastimes. Furthermore, all the parents were aware of the extent
of their children's interest in the environment, which suggests that the parents and their children talked to
each other.

Parental interest in their children's education and schooling


It was routine for most and usual for nearly all the parents to ask their child what had happened in school
that day and it was also common to ask about their friends and classmates. There were fewer routine
enquiries about how the child got on with his/her teacher and other staff, either because there is trust in
teachers or because in general no obvious problems arose.
All the parents helped the child with homework, though not necessarily every day, and tried to help them
with any problems with school work. The introduction of formal testing even for small children has placed
greater responsibilities on children and teachers, and parents seem to have entered the arena as back-
ups. This is not always an easy role and a few admitted that they sometimes lost patience or were unable
to help. Only two mentioned passing any school work problems back to the teacher.
The majority attended formal meetings with their child's class teacher but in addition most stated that they
spoke to the head teacher or class teacher at least sometimes. In addition, most said that they talked to
other parents, just over half 'quite often' or 'a lot'. This would take place when taking the child to or
collecting him/her from school.
On the other hand, attendance at the parents' association meeting was much lower than the extent of
other contacts with the school. Only six said they attended 'often' or 'quite often', and a further three said
they 'sometimes' attended. Nine, almost half the sample, never went to the meetings.

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Attenders versus non-attenders (1)
In order to assist comparison between attenders and non-attenders, percentages are used in the
following analyses, even though in general these are meaningless in such a small sample.
A sub-hypothesis tested was that many parents are too busy to attend such meetings. Of the nine who
'often', 'quite often' or 'sometimes' attended the meetings:
• All were women;
• None was working full time but five were working part-time, one was a part-time student and only one
was a full-time housewife (eleven per cent of the attenders, compared with fifty per cent of those who
rarely or never attended meetings);
• Seven were living in nuclear families with partners/spouses, one in an extended family and only one
was a lone parent; but the number of children they had ranged from one to five;
• Four (forty-four per cent) had children under four as well as school-age children, compared with four
(thirty-three per cent) of the twelve who rarely or never attended meetings;
• Four did all the cleaning and tidying; seven did all the cooking; four did all the shopping; six did all the
washing and ironing; two did all the house repairs and gardening; and seven gave their child all the
help with homework.

Conclusion 1
The hypothesis that lack of attendance at parents' association meetings is a sign of disinterest in their
children or their education, or leading busy lives, is not borne out by this survey. All were interested in
their children and their education and involved in their children's lives. Life was certainly busy for most,
possibly all, the parents, but this did not diminish their concern for and interest in their children's lives and
well-being, including their schooling. Furthermore, the hypothesis that those who came to meetings had
time on their hands is not borne out. In some ways the attenders were 'busier' than the non- or infrequent
attenders.

Deficient people
Social class and its proxy variables, occupation, qualifications and accommodation arrangements, are
generally held to be influential in determining participation in parents' associations and other formal
school activities.
Of those who were in paid employment, most worked in the public sector, where pay is on average lower
than in the private sector, but two of the three private sector workers were in low-paid jobs. Income was
not asked about but since most of those working for wages did so part time it can probably be assumed
that personal incomes were overall not high.
This estimate is partly based on the educational level of the set (see Chart 4.) About two-fifths had no
formal qualifications and a further third had school level or lower vocational qualifications. Only a fifth had
a degree or professional qualifications and none of these was currently in the labour market.
Just over two-fifths lived in rented accommodation and the rest, a slight majority, in property owned by
themselves, with the exception of two who lived in houses owned by their parents.

Attenders versus non-attenders (2)


An analysis of those who often, quite often or sometimes attended parents' association meetings in terms
of these variables shows that:
• Six (two-thirds or sixty-six per cent) had qualifications (compared with fifty-seven per cent of the
whole sample and fifty per cent of those who rarely or never attended);
• All in employment worked in the education sector, compared with under half the whole employed
sample - in fact, all those who worked in the education sector attended at least some of the meetings;
• Five lived in accommodation they or their parents owned, while four rented (a similar distribution to
that of the non-attenders).

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Conclusion 2
It appears that education and occupation were, as found in other surveys, more important indicators than
'busyness' as to who is likely to attend parents' association meetings. Housing status, however, was
immaterial.

Shy people and outsiders


There was a slightly lesser tendency for those who did not like speaking in public to attend parents'
association meetings than for those who did (see Table 5). Of those who answered 'no' to the question
about public speaking, one explained that she was 'too shy', and never attended the meetings; whereas
another said she had spoken publicly 'only in small groups' and attended most of the meetings. Sixty per
cent of those who were not willing to speak in public were non-attenders, compared with the fifty per cent
of those who answered yes and who attended the meetings. The results are not, however, conclusive.
Given high geographical mobility it might be assumed that people who are not originally from the area
where they now live and where their children are schooled are less likely to be involved in local affairs
such as parents' associations. In fact, in this sample, four of the nine attenders (forty-four per cent) were
from the local area, four from other parts of the country (include the nearby large city) and one was from
overseas. In fact, fifty-eight per cent of the non-attenders either lived in the place where they were born or
had moved only a short distance within the county. Being an 'outsider' increases rather than decreases
attendance, and one reason might be that joining the group is a way of getting to know people in the area.

Conclusion 3
Shyness can certainly inhibit people from attending meetings but being new to the area appears to have a
positive effect on attendance.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION


As stated above, this small-scale non-random survey cannot give rise to generalisable findings.
Furthermore, certain questions were not asked, including those on ethnicity, health (including mental
health) and opinions of the school. All these might affect the nature of relations with the school.
Within its limits, however, it indicates that for the group of parents surveyed, non-attendance at parents'
association meetings is partly indicated by lower or non-existent educational qualifications, lower status
jobs (which are normally associated with low qualifications), shyness and originating in the local area.
There is no evidence that non-attenders are less interested in their children and their education than
attenders, nor that busy people are less likely to attend. Housing status and family responsibilities have
no discernible effect.
If the single inhibiting factor is educational level, it appears that the Quart de Poblet initiative, in providing
free part-time education to parents, is appropriate to the perceived problem of low levels of formal
participation by parents in their children's school.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Clayton, P. (2003), Sharing New Adult Training Pathways for Better Schooling: Final Report (Grundtvig
project)
Clayton, P. (2004), Summary of Research on Family Support for Children in England and Wales

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ANNEX
Note that the font of the original questionnaire was Verdana 10 pt and the line spacing was wider.

SURVEY ON PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT ADDRESSED


TO PARENTS
This is part of a European project, under the Grundtvig/Socrates programme and led by a local authority
(Quart de Poblet, Valencia) in Spain. The United Kingdom partner is the University of Glasgow. The
project is called ‘Designing new adult training pathways for better schooling’ and the main focus is
encouraging parents to take an active interest in their children’s education by engaging directly with the
school - for example, sitting on school boards of governors, joining the Parent-Teacher Association, the
Friends of the School etc.
It would help us greatly if you would be so kind as to answer the following questions.

PERSONAL DATA

1 Gender
Male ( ) Female ( )

2 Age
Range:
16 -24
25 – 44
45 -64
65 and +

3 Place of Residence
(e.g. Gravesend) _______________

4 Do you have any academic or professional qualifications? YES / NO


If YES, go to question 5
If NO, go to question 6

5 What is your highest qualification?


(e.g. School Leaving Certificate, GCE O level/GCSE, GCE A level, City & Guilds, ONC/HNC,
bachelor’s/master’s/doctoral degree, professional (e.g. banking)
Primary studies (school certificate) 1
Secondary 2
City & Guilds, RSA etc 3
Professional qualifications 4
University degree (write in the level) 5
Others. Specify: 6

6 Birthplace
Same as town where you now live? 1
Another city in your home country: If so, which one?_______________ 2
Another EU member country: If so, which one? __________________ 3
Rest of the world: If so, which country?_________________ 4

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7 What is your current situation?
Working full time for an employer or self-employed 1
Working part time for an employer or self-employed 2
Retired 3
Unemployed but worked before 4
Unemployed and seeking first job 5
Student 6
Housewife 7
Other: Specify:______ ____________________________ 8

IF the interviewee is employed, go to question 8


IF a student, go to question 10
IF neither, go to question 11

8 If you currently do paid work, who do you work for?


Public sector 1
Private sector 2
Voluntary sector 3
Child minding in your own home 4
Self employed 5
Other (please specify) 6

9 In which industry do you work?


Construction 1
Civil Service or Local Government 2
Manufacturing 3
Agriculture 4
Services (retail, restaurants, personal services) 5
Childcare 6
Education 7
Health 8
Other (specify): __________________________________ 9

10 Where do you normally carry out your studies or work?


(the purpose is to find out how much time is spent commuting)
In the town where you live 1
In another town in Kent 2
In another county 3
In another country 4
In your own home 5

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11 Marital status
Single 1
Married / cohabiting 2
Separated / Divorced 3
Widowed 4
No answer 5

12 How many people live in your home, including yourself ?


___________

13 Household unit: who do you live with?


Alone 1
Spouse/partner and children 2
Children only 3
Your parents and/or brothers or sisters 4
Friends 5
Others (please specify) 6
No answer 7

14 Are any of them:


yes no
Children under 4 1 0
Children from 5-17 1 0
Adults over 65 1 0
Disabled (children and adults) 1 0

15 Housing
Owning your own house (outright or on a mortgage) 1
Living with your parents in a home that they own 2
Rented (private or council) 3
Accommodation provided by your employer 4
Accommodation provided free by your parents 5
Homeless/ no fixed residence 6

YOU AND YOUR CHILD

16 If your child seems sad and serious do you ask him or her why?
1 Never 2 Rarely 3 Sometimes 4 Usually 5 Always

17 If your child seems particularly happy, do you ask him or her why?
1 Never 2 Rarely 3 Sometimes 4 Usually 5 Always

18 Do you ask him or her what s/he would like to do after school?
1 Never 2 Rarely 3 Sometimes 4 Usually 5 Always

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19 Do you ask him or her what has happened in school that day?
1 Never 2 Rarely 3 Sometimes 4 Usually 5 Always

20 Do you ask him/her about his/her friends and schoolmates?


1 Never 2 Rarely 3 Sometimes 4 Usually 5 Always

21 Do you ask him or her about his/her relationship with teachers, the head teacher and
other staff members?
1 Never 2 Rarely 3 Sometimes 4 Usually 5 Always

22 How often do you speak with the school headteacher?


1 Never 2 Rarely 3 Sometimes 4 Quite often 5 Often

23 How often do you speak with the class teachers?


1 Never 2 Rarely 3 Sometimes 4 Quite often 5 Often

24 Are you familiar with your children’s games?


Yes or No
IF YES go to question 25
If NO go to question 26

25 Could you describe the kind of games your children like playing?
a) Traditional games
b) Board games
c) Video or computer games
d) Sports
e) Others. Which ones? ____________________

26 When your child has a problem how do you tackle it?


I listen I tell him/her what to do and then we I tell him to talk it over with his/her
talk about it dad/mum

If the answer does not fit above, please write in here: _______________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

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27 When your children ask awkward questions (e.g. Where do babies come from?), how
do you deal with them?
I tell him/her to ask at I say those are adult
I change the subject I answer clearly
school issues

If the answer does not fit above, please write in here: _______________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

28 How interested are you in knowing about how your children are educated?
Not at all Very little No opinion A bit A lot

29 Are your children concerned about the environment and the future of the planet?
Not at all Very little No opinion A bit A lot

YOU AND THE SCHOOL

30 Have you ever spoken in public, for example, in a meeting?


Yes or No
IF NO, go to question 31
IF YES, go to question 32

31 Would you be willing to do so?


Yes or No

32 How often do you attend parent-teacher meetings?


1 Never 2 Rarely 3 Sometimes 4 Usually 5 Always

33 How often do you attend parents’ association meetings?


(e.g. the Friends of the school)
1 Never 2 Rarely 3 Sometimes 4 Usually 5 Always

34 How often do you talk to other parents who have children at this school?
1 Never 2 Rarely 3 Sometimes 4 Quite often 5 A lot

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35 If there is a problem at school where do you go to find information?
Parents’ association
Head teacher’s office
Class teacher
Other member of staff (please specify)
Someone outside the school (please specify)

36 Do you help your children with their school homework?


1 Never 2 Rarely 3 Sometimes 4 Quite often 5 A lot

37 When your children face problems with school work, how do you react?
With patience, discussing it with him/her
I look for help from someone else
I tell him to speak to his teacher
I lose my temper
Other (please specify) ___________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

38 When your children face problems with schoolmates, what do you do?
I discuss it and I help him/her to resolve the problem
I tell him/her not to do anything
I solve the problem directly, confronting the schoolmates
Other (please specify) ___________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

39 When your children face problems with a teacher, what do you do?
I discuss it and I help him/her to resolve the problem
I tell him/her not to do anything
I solve the problem directly, confronting the teacher
Other (please specify) ___________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

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AND FINALLY …

40 In your family, indicate who does the following duties:


DUTY Mother Father Child Others
Cleaning
Cooking
Shopping
Washing and ironing
House repair / DIY
Helping with homework or other school matters

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION

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