Reviewing educational opportunities for 14 – 19 year olds

Local involvement in service development

A commitment to identifying gaps in educational provision and raising standards is vital for the future development of young people’s services. Consulting them and their parents provides robust evidence of their needs and can have a positive influence on your service development plans.

Improving opportunities and standards on the Isle of Wight

Qa Research was commissioned by Isle of Wight Council to conduct a programme of quantitative and qualitative research amongst parents and young people.

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Our final report set out parents and young people’s views on the proposed changes

We conducted quantitative research with a sample of 400 parents and focus groups with children aged 10 – 13 and young people aged 17 – 20. Respondents were asked to comment on proposed structural changes to educational provision for 14 – 19 year olds.

Focus groups were considered the most appropriate way to engage with young people. They offered a reliable means of accessing their views and the perfect forum to explore these views in greater depth. The groups used Participatory Appraisal (PA) techniques such as pictures and drawing exercises to encourage involvement.

The script covered the following main topics:

  • Going to school (likes/dislikes; what would you change about your school?)
  • Whether Year 9 should be taken at Middle or High School (attitudes to taking the final year of Key Stage 3 at High School)
  • Factors determining the choice of school (parents, location, reputation etc)
  • The appeal of three alternative high school provision options (preferences; likes/dislikes)

Taking local opinion into consideration

Our final report set out parents and young people’s views on the proposed changes. Their views on the changes and their likely impact on their choice of school or teaching standards will make a significant contribution to the review.

For more details e-mail robin.hulme@qaresearch.co.uk or call 01904 632039