During the Covid-19 lockdown, approximately 12 million parents of school-aged children were asked to supervise their children’s learning. It seems likely that educational disruption will continue well into the next academic year, for some if not all families and there is an urgent need to help them share their experiences and ask questions to their peers; to discover what’s working and what isn’t.
Parents have always had questions; how much support should they be giving their children with homework, what time should children go to bed, how much screen-time should be allowed?
Many parents are not confident enough to share their thoughts publicly, but they would like to be asked and to have their views recognised. There is little quantitative data available currently for parents to use as a benchmark or for schools to learn from.
Empowering parents, building their confidence and bringing them back into the education conversation
Following the success of Teacher Tapp, (a well-respected daily survey platform with over 8,500 teachers answering questions every single day), the team are creating a new survey platform to support and empower parents.
Parent Ping will ask parents to share their answers to a small number of daily questions so that they can learn from one another, and become empowered from collective quantitative data.
While some forums exist, this benchmark data does not exist elsewhere. Being able to share feedback in a less personal way will also encourage more parent voices to be heard.
The coronavirus crisis elevated the voice of teachers, but the parent story is not being told at the same rate.
Work in action
The team is currently working in partnership with charities and other parent-based organisations to build suitable question sets and engage parents.
Once parents have been asked questions via the platform, they’ll be able to quickly see other parents’ perceptions and learn from one another. Visit the Parent Ping website to register your interest in taking part.
The data will be available to all. By mapping the data from teachers (via Teacher Tapp) with parents, teachers, policy makers and parents will have a holistic view and real insight of education and learning environments.
Parent Ping hopes that being able to share feedback on a national level with schools will help form better relationships between schools and parents.
The Big Changers
Co-founders Laura McInerney, Becky Allen and Alex Weatherall created Teacher Tapp in 2017. Following its success they’ve noted a gap in parent information. They have brought in Karen Wespieser to launch Parent Ping to bring them into education conversations.
Laura McInerney – Chief Executive Officer
Laura was a teacher in London secondary schools for six years before becoming a journalist.
She spent four years editing Schools Week, and is a regular Guardian Education columnist. She started Teacher Tapp with Becky in 2017 as a bit of fun. It soon became clear that it would be so much more.
Becky Allen – Chief Analyst
Becky was a teacher before spending 15 years as an academic studying schools. She spends a day a week as a Professor of Education at University of Brighton.
Most of Becky’s career has been spent gathering and analysing education data. She came up with the idea of Teacher Tapp through the frustration of trying to get teachers to answer email surveys!
Alex Weatherall – Chief Technology Officer
Alex worked as a database developer for 9 years before training to become a Physics Teacher in 2010. He co-founded Teacher Tapp in 2017, while still teaching. After too many post-period-5 bug fixing sessions he decided to work on Teacher Tapp full-time and has been doing so ever since.
Karen Wespieser – Chief Operating Officer
Karen is an applied education researcher by background and has held research positions at NFER, CfBT and the BBC amongst others. Karen joined the Teacher Tapp team in the summer of 2020 to help run new projects such as Teacher Tapp in Ghana and Parent Ping.
We’re proud to have backed Parent Ping to launch their app through supporting the cost of developer days, server costs and social media. Since being funded by Big Change, they have had 2,420,155 questions answered, 7,000 parents signed up to the app and at least 1,000 responses per day throughout 2021.
Their work has been recognized in the Guardian and The Times. While the data and recognition speak for themselves, participants themselves have also confirmed the transformative impact of Parent Ping’s work:
“I enjoy doing the surveys, but enjoy seeing the results more. It’s really interesting finding out everyone’s views on topical issues as well as general parenting. The articles presented everyday are always interesting and informative as well.”
“I really enjoy pinging every day – it makes me stop to think about my own values/beliefs as well as giving me insight as to how they compare to others’. It can be very reassuring to discover you’re not the only family with kids that don’t listen, or bedtimes that go on forever!”