Posted by: southadmin | 12/11/2012

The Sheffield Parents’ Survey – More Than Just Ticking A Box

The idea behind The Sheffield Parents’ Survey was simple.

We wanted as many parents as possible to express their views about the services that affect them and their families – including schools.

We launched the survey on 10 August 2012, sending the online link out to the Parents’ Assembly and other contacts and had a good response almost immediately. We met parents at First Points, toddler groups, parents’ evenings, children’s centres, play centres, coffee mornings, libraries, baby clinics and at ESOL classes (where parents did the survey as part of their lesson) and on parenting courses.

We were invited to events including HomeStart’s 30th Birthday, the South Community Assembly Roadshow (part of Local Democracy Week), a performance by Greentop Circus in the Winter Gardens and Bag A Book Day at Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.

While we were out and about, online responses flooded in – helped in no small part by our advert being broadcast several times a day on Hallam FM and full page adverts featuring in the magazines Raring2Go and What’s Going On.

Schools promoted the survey to their parents, our partners regularly Tweeted the link and featured it on their Facebook pages while Sheffield International Venues donated a set of free LifeCARDs – which we gave to the first 150 completers and a further random selection after the survey closed.

Several local businesses donated prizes which we will soon be distributing, and we received completed surveys from Hallam FM’s Big John @ Breakfast and Producer James – as well as former Britain’s Got Talent contestant, bellydancer and journalist Sophie Mei.

Throughout the consultation, we had surveys available in Urdu, Arabic, Bengali, Slovak and Somali, which have been translated for us free of charge by colleagues within the council.

Finally, the Lord Mayor (Councillor John Campbell), Councillor Jackie Drayton, Councillor Qurban Hussain and Minnie Mouse all agreed to pose for photos to feature on our Facebook page.

Our target number of survey responses was 1,000 – but by the time it closed on 31 October 2012, we had far exceeded this – with more arriving in the post on a daily basis.

We are grateful to everyone who completed or publicised The Sheffield Parents’ Survey so many thanks if you’re either or both of those!

The report will soon be available at www.sheffield.gov.uk/sps.

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