Michael Hall Parent’s Voice Survey

Michael Hall Parents

What you Shared with Us in April 2021

Thank you very much to those of you who kindly completed the spring parents voice survey. Your experiences and suggestions provide invaluable information in helping the School further develop and understand the needs of the community.

Below is a summary that offers a reflection back of the survey results from the Michael Hall Parents

Survey in numbers:

  • 81 responses
  • 12% early years, 65% lower school, 23% upper school

How did you hear about the school?

  • 48% had a previous connection, 32% through friends, 20% via the internet.

65% of the responses wished for further involvement in the following areas:

  • Festivals
  • On the land
  • Welcoming new families
  • Governance
  • Teaching

How has your voice been heard?

  1. Work day at the iron spring took place in the Easter Holidays
  2. “Who is Who” of staff – now being developed on the school website. Please see link for more details https://michaelhall.co.uk/the-school/staff-and-trustees/
  3. “Meet the Team” feature in the Friday Flier – staff introduced each week
  4. Feedback of Survey results of the survey to Acting Principle and Business Manager and a separate feedback session held for the School Council of Trustees.
  5. “Love Bomb” to teaching staff – sharing the supportive and encouraging quotes from the survey.
  6. The organisation and facilitation of “Speaker Series Talks” which have included: discussion of the ‘Spirit of the School’ vision, Kindergarten to Class 1 transition, the 9 year change, the 12 year change and Rites of Passage. Additionally, these talks are available on the School website.
  7. All parents who have expressed an interest to help with governance have been contacted and invited to further discuss involvement with the Association/Council, should they be interested.
  8. Benches now in the car park area for parents to connect after drop off/before pick up.

What is coming up?
1. Further work days on the land at Michael Hall.
2. In person ‘Canteen’ as soon as covid rules allow.
3. Ongoing weekly Virtual Canteen
4. Monthly Speaker Talk series

Thank you all once again for all the time you took to share your feedback.

Do contact MHP if you have any questions or suggestions, you can contact Michael Hall Parents via email: [email protected]

Michael Hall Parent’s Voice Survey quotes

“It’s a lovely school. I wish nothing more than for the school to survive and thrive… it needs openness, transparency and a willingness to admit faults where faults lie and move forward with love, care and a steady well anchored true Waldorf curriculum alongside a healthy business plan.”

“The turnover of staff in Upper school worries me. I have already had one child go through u.s. with many crucial teachers leaving. Unless it changes, I won’t be putting my second child through it too. A level choices are also very limited. Why no A level P E with the facilities we have?”

“Simplify everything and put energy into stability (staff stability, management stability, Ofsted inspection results). Big family festivals and projects are not as important as the foundational work”

“There appears to be a gap between the conceptual aspect of the school and daily reality; aspects such as fragmented communication compounding this gap. The dream needs to translate into the experience for more of the students and the parents for more of the time. A beautiful school with its challenges is far better than a handful of serious challenges and a dream of a beautiful school.”

“We all understand managing a large school is complex, particularly a Steiner school in the UK. We give you our children to educate because we believe and trust the school and its community of teachers, managers, pupils and parents. Treat parents and staff as responsible adults with shared interests and the same goals as the school (quality education for our children). Use transparency and a common understanding that we are all human and in this journey together to foster mutual trust and we will have a strong, vibrant, supportive community.”

“We NEED to find a way around the rules and regulations that we are now governed by and get the parents involved again. Yes, to help the school, but also and more importantly, to feel welcome and part of the bigger picture. If parents feel this, they will naturally offer their help. There is no end to the energy, skills and will in the parent body. I also believe that if parents feel more involved, they begin to take more ownership of the partnership between parents, children and school, and of the shared responsibility of educating and caring for our children. Consequently they become less critical and demanding. The unspoken language from the school at the moment is very much “pay your money and go away”, whilst the unspoken language from many in the parent body is “I’ve paid my money, so you need to deliver”. We are all victims of the strange times we currently live in and this slightly defensive culture has crept in despite people’s best efforts.”

“I love the school and both my girls have enjoyed their education. I think we are extremely lucky to have been able to send our children to Michael Hall. I have also been impressed by the dedicated teachers who have taught them.”

“I am so appreciative of Michael Hall School – so happy that it exists and that my children get to attend and also so grateful for all the immense passion and commitment that staff and volunteers pour in to keep it alive and thriving.”

“It’s a very special school so we need to keep the spirit of Waldorf Steiner education alive.”

“That ultimately, whilst I feel there is a lot of room for improvement we really appreciate the time, effort and commitment shown by the staff at MH (including the MHP). We want to honor and support that, as we feel our children already benefit greatly from it. We want to see the school grow and shine!”