‘Welcoming, ambitious, inclusive, encouraging …’ why parents value a St Mary’s education
From quality of teaching and leadership, to communication, academic challenge and pupil well-being, a recent independent survey reveals high levels of parental satisfaction across Junior School, Senior School and Sixth Form.
“We love St Mary’s and the balanced education it offers our daughter who, in no small part due to the support and guidance of St Mary’s faculty and staff, has become a resilient, kind, and self-confident young woman.” Parent
A 2019 survey, led by RSAcademics, provides an independent snapshot of St Mary’s parental experience and builds on a survey conducted in 2017.
The 2019 results show a high level of satisfaction:
- 80% of Junior School parents are completely or very satisfied
- 81% of Senior School/Sixth Form parents are completely or very satisfied
- Over a third of parents said St Mary’s has exceeded their expectations
In summary, RSAcademics reported that St Mary’s Junior School is: “a thriving school providing an excellent education for the girls in its care which is enthusiastically endorsed and appreciated by parents.” For Senior School, the survey report concludes: “parents really do feel St Mary’s staff are experts at bringing out the best in their daughters.”
Senior School and Sixth Form parents positively endorse many of the individual features of the School, with all but two of 45 features rated as ‘very good’ or ‘good’ (Very good = the highest level awarded). This positive rating spanned all aspects of school life, including leadership, pupil well-being, subject choice, behaviour, creative opportunities and academic results.
In Junior School, an impressive 100% of parents rated the behaviour, quality of teaching and the relationships between pupil, staff and parents as either ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
When asked to describe St Mary’s School, parents selected adjectives such as ‘encouraging’ ‘ambitious’, ‘inclusive’, ‘rounded’ and ‘dedicated’ – reflecting many of the School’s key aims.
By investing in open communication with parents, St Mary’s is able to place priority on enhancing aspects of the School that matter most to parents. The 2019 survey demonstrates a very positive rise in parental ratings, since 2017 in key areas. In Junior School, ‘very good’ ratings for communication increased by 27%. In 2019, ‘very good’ ratings for quality of teaching in Senior School increased by 16%.
These increases reflect key priorities in St Mary’s strategic plan from the past two years. For example, the School has implemented an evidence-based approach to learning to become an accredited High Performance Learning World Class School during this period – which correlates with the positive rise in parental views on the quality of teaching.
Looking to the future
The 2019 survey represents a further strengthening of the parent partnership at St Mary’s, and the results will shape the ongoing strategy for the School.
Key future parents priorities include:
· Creating more sports opportunities
· Providing more bespoke/in-depth feedback on progress
· A continued focus on academic challenge and enrichment
“Working in partnership with our parents is integral to our approach. It is encouraging to see very high levels of parental satisfaction in this survey. The enhanced ratings in key areas since 2017, such as teaching quality, leadership, communication, university support and subject choice, show that by listening to parents, we can address the aspects of St Mary’s life that really matter to them.” Charlotte Avery, Headmistress
Junior School Report
Senior School Report
Survey results based on the following response rates: Junior School 59% and Senior School/Sixth Form 54%.