British Council

Understanding the influence of parents and Governors within UK classrooms

The brief

The British Council commissioned this research in order to understand the influence of parents and governors within primary school and secondary school classrooms across the UK. The research also investigated parent and governor awareness of the educational charity and its products and services, as well as the awareness they had of its competitors.

Our approach and methodology

This comprehensive UK-wide project consisted of multiple phases:

  • Initial desk research was conducted to provide a review of the available evidence around governor and parent influence within primary and secondary schools, both in the UK and internationally. The desk research stage also enabled a deep understanding of the dynamic environment in which schools currently operate and of the changes occurring to governors’ roles.
  • A total of 60 qualitative, in-depth interviews were conducted with three key stakeholder groups across primary and secondary schools; parents, governors and members of the SMT who were in a position to verify the influence of the other two interest groups. Interviews were geographically representative of the UK with respondents from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • A series of eSurveys were conducted with parents, governors and members of the SMT in order to quantify the results of the interviews. A total of 1138 responses were gathered, 802 from parents, 125 from Governors and 211 from members of the SMT.

Delivering results and value to our client

The Shift Learning team delivered valuable insight to The British Council Team, enabling the construction of a detailed picture of the direct and indirect influences of both parents and governors in schools across the UK. Detailed analysis included results split by:

  • School type
  • Respondent type
  • Location
  • Socio-economic status

This research helped The British Council understand how its products and services are currently perceived, the value it can bring to the school environment, and the barriers it faces in doing so.