How do parents respond to OFSTED reports?

Publication type



MiSoC Explainers


Publication date

June 1, 2019


Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, regularly inspects around 26,000 schools in England and rates their quality from ‘outstanding’ to ‘inadequate’. Existing evidence shows that these school ratings affect households’ school choices and local house prices, but we know very little about how parents with children already at school react to ratings, if at all. The published rating can provide news for parents if their school is judged to be of better or worse quality than they anticipated. We study how parents react when they receive good or bad news about the quality of their child’s school. Specifically, we ask: do parents increase or decrease the time they spend helping with homework at home? Families may increase their time investments in their children if they feel more motivated by the fact that their child’s school is better than they had previously thought. On the other hand they might feel they can afford to reduce such investments if they feel the school is doing a better job than anticipated. Our study is based on a unique combination of survey data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study with administrative data on Ofsted inspections and school performance between 2009 and 2015. We use households that received an Ofsted inspection in the same academic year as their survey interview, specifically comparing households that know the outcome of the inspection when interviewed to those where the outcome is still unknown.





Related Publications



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest